Africa’s sportsbook operators-business update during lockdown

Despite the lockdown virtually in all the 52 African states that Covid-19 as been detected, significant numbers of sportsbook operators are still making fair sales through virtual games, eSports as well as a stimulating sporting event.

However, some are unfortunate to find themselves in a country where online gambling is not legal. Therefore, in this article, I have been able to interview some of the notable sportsbook operators across Africa. Perhaps for them to provide us with insight into the current status of the gambling business in each respective sports betting brand during the covid19 pandemic. At the same time, what are the plans to keep bettors engage as nobody knows when the regular sports activities will resume back to normal?

So I hit the ground running with the Managing Director Betbonanaza Nigeria Adekunle Adeniji.
Said no doubt the cancellation of sports events as affected the sports betting business globally as well as other sectors of the gambling industry in which he said the brand is down by 60% of sales. Still, the brand is proliferating online, which is helping them stay afloat in business during the lockdown in Nigeria.

While, I also have the opportunity to have a conversation with the Chief Executive Officer BestBet360 Nigeria Dolan Beuthin. As quoted said, the suspension of sports event had not had that adverse impact on their brand as they have a lot of sales in Nigeria from virtual games. Still, obliviously, the effect of the lockdown has had a drastic impact on retail sales. Again, he said luckily for them; the brand has a large percentage of players online asking for other betting products not only sports betting.

I also have the privilege to speak with the Chief Marketing Officer Parimatch International Dmitry Belianin as quoted said so far there are only in Tanzania that the brand sees a small decline in profits by about 10%. However, the turnover is still in place as there always have a fair share of customers demanding for virtual sports, and we started accepting bets on the social events, and we are growing at a constant rate.

However, we plan on launching a new product in the next few weeks which will give bettors more options, and in the coming weeks, the situation will stabilize no matter the lack of sports events.

While I also have the privilege to speak with another brand in Tanzania Sokabet Project Manager Jimmy Keneth Masaoe, as quoted said the brand resumed operations in March. Currently, the brand is under new investor now. So for now that they are still observing how it goes for only one month that since the suspension of sports event that sales have dropped drastically from 90% to 1% even less but the brand will be rolling out virtual sports in the coming weeks to keep their customers engage.

This time around I got cut up with the CEO AfricaBet Rwanda Samanta Gowree Shegobin as quoted said the gaming industry in Rwanda is still an infant sector, bearing in mind the government legalized betting and gambling only a few years ago.

Further said the brand is struggling as their market is entirely land-based that covid-19 global pandemic as heavily impacted their businesses, said in times like this online betting would have been the brand lifeline keeping them afloat. Further said the online gaming law had already promulgated, Gazette in Rwanda 2 years back yet, unfortunately, the implementation is not a reality.

She went further that the brand would have shown remarkable resilience if that has been the case. That the forthcoming weeks will be tough on them with no prediction of how long the current situation might last but expecting assistance and support from the government and financial institutions in such unprecedented tough times.

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