How Online Sports Betting has Gripped Millenials across East Africa

Whichever angle you look at it, whether social or economic, Africa has recorded an exponential rise in sports betting. More specifically, East African nations are becoming some of the hot spots across the continent. You may look at it as a positive or negative factor, but the truth of the matter is that gambling has gripped millennials across this region.

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have registered a sudden surge in online gambling over the past decade. Kenya specifically leads in the gambling vice, where the capital Nairobi acts as the nerve centre of sports betting among youths. Nairobi is home to more than 18 licensed destinations. All the facilities are offering over 1000 video poker and slot machines as well as 200 table games. The advent of online betting on mobile came as a wave that swept a significant percentage of millennials into gambling. Today, more than 60% of East African youths aged 17-35 are involved in one or more forms of gambling.

The Motivation behind Sports Betting

Gambling operators have found a fertile ground in East Africa in which they can launch their activities. Many foreign-based companies are now licensed to operate in the region with the aim of boosting the economy. However, there are socio-economic reasons that are leading to the rise in the numbers of millennials who embrace betting.

They include:

Burgeoning Rates of Unemployed Youth
Population growth is an issue in Africa. Even countries that have vibrant economies still face a challenge in creating jobs for their citizens. The most affected groups include millennials who have attained skills, yet they have nowhere to apply them. The pressure to have an income has pushed these groups into the gambling business.
Lenient or Lack of Laws in Sports Betting
East African nations have not invested in creating strong regulations to govern the gambling market. Unlike the EU and US who have stringent policies, East Africa has allowed overseas gambling firms to take advantage of the population’s appetite for sports betting. Africa, in general, is growing due to gambling. Perhaps the need for economic development is what has caused most governments to compromise the lives of their youths.
Penetration of Smartphones
Compared to other parts of the world, Africa has an aggressive penetration of smartphones. Millennials in East Africa are not just aware of the dangers of this trend. Smartphones are addictive on their own. When combined with the urge for sports betting, the effects may be uncontrollable for the youthful population.
The Massive Payouts
Gambling companies have realized how millennials are vulnerable in the face of easy money. Therefore, the operators have designed lucrative packages and mouthwatering jackpots to entice them into betting. The promise of free money is an apparent reason why youths in East Africa spend sleepless nights trying to make a fortune.

If you take a survey of young gamblers in East Africa, you will find just a handful of them in the land-based casinos. A vast pool of them comprises of online bettors. There are simple reasons for this trend. First, most land-based casinos are big establishments offering other services like restaurants and swimming pools. Youths do not have the money to spend on other recreational activities other than placing bets online with as low as $1.

Besides, casino slots have complicated rules to learn before one becomes a pro. Millennials are such an impatient lot who would want to place simple bets and wait upon their wins. Lastly, online betting comes with the comfort of gambling from any location. The smartphone comes in handy to give millennials the flexibility to bet. For instance, they can gamble while in school, on a trip or even at a party. Brick and mortar casinos are somewhat limiting because a gamer must travel and play in their physical presence.

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