Mobile Gambling Among Youths in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile gambling has become a popular activity among youths in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a Geopoll survey that was conducted in 2017 and featured Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, youths aged 17-35 spend not less than $50 for betting in every month.

Most of them are interested in football, where there are many suitable odds and favourable rewards. The enthusiastic bettors include males who also have a high affinity for sports.

Gambling Frequency

According to the survey, most youths, around 54% of them in the Sub-Saharan region have had an interest in gambling. Among the countries that were featured, Kenya had the highest number at 76%, followed by Uganda and Ghana, that recorded 57% and 42% respectively. Kenya hosts the largest group of enthusiastic bettors when compared with other African countries. Youths in Kenya bet every week while those in other countries prefer a monthly schedule. However, all of them have an interest in sports betting. The most popular event is the English Premier League that features football games every weekend.

Sports Betting

Football betting reigns supreme among all forms of gambling in the Sub-Saharan African region. Again, Kenyan millennials top the list, accounting for a whopping 79% of the total bets placed. However, South Africa is an exception when it comes to football matches. Here, many youths have resorted to lotteries, racing and poker.

Mobile Usage

The most convenient tool among youths today is the mobile phone. In the Sub-Saharan region, an estimate of 80% of millennials are using phones for analysis and placing their bets. In Kenya, 98% of youths have the phone as their preferred gambling tool. It is surprising how South Africa records the least number at 48%, yet the country boasts of leadership in mobile penetration across the African continent. Definitely, youths in the country are empowered with sources of income, and the few who are betting can access other devices like computers.

The Jackpot

Given that more youths in Kenya have sunk into the gambling business, they have created a fertile ground for bookmakers to invest in the country. On average, each of them spends more than $50 per month. This converts into massive amounts of money, compelling operators to place huge sums as jackpots.

The uptake of technology is one of the motivating factors for youths to engage in gambling. Most of them have access to mobile phones, and betting firms have lowered the deposit amounts to less than $1. With the popularity of the English Premier League, more youths continue to embrace betting, an industry that is projected to grow a thousandfold in the future. In Kenya, for instance, jackpots are raised to as high as $2 million, meaning every youth will strive to achieve this amount through repeated betting. However, less than ten individuals have managed to win the jackpots.

Implications of Mobile Gambling

While mobile gambling has brought satisfaction, relaxation and entertainment among the millennials, there are far many devastating impacts upon them. A significant number has fallen into depression and anxiety, while some have succumbed to addiction. In general, gambling among youths has been discouraged by most governments to safeguard their welfare.

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