Bookmakers in Africa-an uncertain wait or decide to swim online

Covid-19 has taken the world and the global economy into a dark space. Regardless of the lack of sports, punters are still looking for the next best option to educate themselves on new/alternative products where they can fill their need to deposit.

A common saying in the market is “Africa lives and dies by 2 things, religion and hope” betting ties directly into the latter, and if players are given options and constantly communicated with, they will explore your alternatives, including current retail customers.

We may soon be in a global lock down and as retail numbers lessen, online platforms may just get the African kick it has been waiting for to match the mobile penetration that currently exists. So the burning question then becomes how do bookmakers adapt? Well with alternatives such as Casino (outside of SA), virtuals, live games and lottery options you have the potential to stimulate the needs of traditional sports punters,even though they may not know it yet. Your marketing strategy needs to be strong in communicating this as well as the benefits of your alternatives. Meaning pushing your products rather than waiting for your existing sports betting customers to come to you as they may previously have done is a immediate must.

Traditional online channels will become more important than ever. Affiliates and Google adwords etc will allow you to find those actively searching for an option, but what are you doing to find and target those who are punters but have stopped looking during the sport shutdown and potential retail decline. This is where programmatic display ads become the caffeine to your marketing stack, allowing you to advertise to those who are engaging with content online but unaware of the products you may offer outside of sport. With more eyes on mobile devices than ever before, Increased user time indoors allows for the opportunity to grab their attention and make money off it.

At the end of the day there is enough for both bookmakers and punters to keep everyone satisfied for the foreseeable future, however this is a clear case of reminding your customers you exist before someone else does, making advertising investment in a tough time like this not only necessary but essential.

Daniel Lyons, Business Development Manager (Digital Marketing & Programmatic)- Africa at Genius Sports

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