How esports betting continues to develop in Africa

Esports betting is counted as one of the top betting sports in Africa as a result of the global pandemic in the past year. During the lockdown, betting fanatics and sports enthusiastic could find joy in indoor activities like online betting and playing virtually in the comfort of their homes. As a result, the esports industry gained more popularity.

The continuous surge of esports activities was discussed by a panel of experts at an SBC Digital Summit Africa. They met to talk about esports development and its potential in the betting industry of Africa.
The experts are notable players from the esports industry including, Emmanuel Oyelakin, founder and CEO of Extraordinary Gamers’; Sidick Bakayo, the managing director of Paradise game; Douglas Ogeto, the CEO of Ludique Works; Kwesi Hayford, president of Ghana Esports Association and the founder of African Electronic Sports Association, Ryan Macquet. The summit was moderated by Luke Cotton, COO of Code Red Esports.

The managing director of Paradise game, Sidick Bakayo was optimistic about the future of esports betting in Africa. He compares the esports industry with the movie industry of Africa. The movie industry was different 15 years ago and certainly, the esports industry will look different in the coming years, it may take time but the esports betting industry will grow gradually.

He also stated that the esports landscape is changing thanks to the effects of the global pandemic. It has brought a positive impact on the esports world. People do not view video games the way they did. They now view it as a form of entertainment and a platform for betting. Sidick is hopeful that esports betting will stand out in the future.

Moreso, he further stated that Africa has the potential to make esports betting continue to develop in the continent. Africa has a huge population and part of that population love sports and definitely, the population will not stop growing. Thus, nothing can stop esports trends in Africa. Nonetheless, the middle class is the largest contributor to the sports economy.

Douglas Ogeto the CEO of Ludique Works supported Sidick’s statement that the betting industry, as well as the esports industry in Africa, is rising. According to him, Africa has its way of doing things. He noted that Africa is creating their game designs to fit the African context. The main aim of doing so is to develop a competitive esports sector.

Ogeto highlighted how Ghana customized the card-playing game-poker to a local context. The company wanted to work with the local market thus identified and developed games that work well with the local market. In Ghana, the customized games were well received. He also noted that more customized games in the local context are underway.

Kwesi Hayford, president of the Ghana Esports Association stated that there is a hunger for gambling in Africa. Betting in gaming is found at the grassroots level of Ghana. Esports betting is played differently in Ghana. Betting is done among the players themselves but not on an esports betting platform. It is popularly known as ‘loser pay and winner stay’.

At the small game dens, the audience places their bet on two gamers gaming. They then come to an understanding whoever wins the game takes the money. This kind of betting has been in Africa for the longest time. As the discussion came to an end, Emmanuel from Extraordinary Gamers’ explained that for the esports community in Africa to develop, they must work together- esports organizers and esports operators. Working together allows the parties to identify the common challenges and aligning them to solutions. Moreso, esports firms must adhere to the rules and regulations placed.

The US and European esports betting landscape are several steps ahead of Africa. The question is – ‘Will Africa esports betting scene manage to catch up?‘ Africa’s esports betting market is not underdeveloped but developing.

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