Online gambling market in Africa

It wasn’t until In 1994 that all forms of gambling were legalized when the new democratic government came to power. And In 1996, the National Gambling Act instituted a system of licensed casinos and a single national lottery. Since then, the gambling market in Africa has seen astronomical growth in the gambling industry. As soon as the pandemic hit, there was a massive decline due to lockdowns and strict regulations that infiltrated the once-successful gambling facilities, and Sportsbooks that had to put most activities on pause. Luckily for casino fans, Africa has new hope for restoring the gambling market as of 2021 and is expanding a GDP growth above 3%.

Since Africa is a massive continent with 54 countries, it’s important to remember that each one has its own regulations, restrictions, and legislations when it comes to gambling laws. For that reason, it’s difficult to average success in the online gambling market without considering the differences. But since South Africa is the region where most people gamble the most, which makes up to 80% of all Africa’s casino lovers. Basing the continent’s success on the country’s number is a much more effective way of getting a clear perspective on the growing industry.

It is now estimated that South Africa will hit a $2.3 billion mark by 2023. Before Covid-19 took over, the gross gambling revenues for SA casinos, limited payout machines, bingo, and betting totaled over $1B in 2016, which was a 3.9% increase since 2015. Betting was no less successful, as Sportsbooks, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, and taking bets raised the GGR by 14.3% in 2016, raising its share of total GGR to 19% from 17% in since the year prior. Additionally, the gross lottery ticket sales increased in 2016, and contributions to the NLDTF from ticket sales rose by 27.9% that same year.

“The gambling industry in South Africa will continue to be adversely affected in the near term by slower economic growth, but improving economic conditions over the latter part of the forecast period will aid growth…It remains an important contributor to the economy through the creation of jobs, continued capital expansion, and the payment of taxes to both provincial and national government,” Pietro Calicchio, Gambling Industry Leader for PwC South Africa, stated.

Sports betting is one of the more successful contributors, accounting for 24% of the industry revenues, and is expected to double the number within the next five years. Tourism in South Africa is one of the leading reasons for the spike in percentages, and it is expected that the country will be visited by 19,6 million tourists just in 2023. But while travelers are pitching into the success, the residents are the driving factor in the sports betting market. Approximately half of the adults in the country participate in sports wagering habitually. Football, horse racing, cricket, rugby, golf, you name it – citizens play it.

Unsurprisingly, Bingo also happened to be incredibly prominent, bringing a 36.6% increase, which is still expected to grow by 11.9% in the next five years. But while the industry is thriving, illegal gambling activities are causing issues in South Africa. Since the 1960’s change in gambling regulations in the 1960s illegal gambling. The most recent, illegal online gambling became a threat to the industry, putting a massive dent in the revenue.

“Illegal gambling also continues to be a problem in South Africa. According to a research paper issued by the National Gambling Board, the total impact of illegal land-based and illegal online gambling resulted in R1.9 billion lost in GDP for the 2016 financial year, as well as a loss of 3 785 jobs.” Calicchio added.

This was an especially considerable threat during the pandemic, as the sales in the gambling industry declined, and offshore online operators swept in to take the lead, offering South African players an accessible, convenient form of alternative sports betting. Until now, land-based and overseas Sportsbook providers that are running their business without a license are putting the gambling industry in a challenging position, as the government has a difficult time keeping track and eliminating the unnecessary competition.

Players are prohibited from participating in any online gambling activities that are illegal in South Africa. Since online casinos happen to be one of the banned forms of entertainment, many residents resort to playing on offshore sites regardless of the rules. With that comes the risk of getting scammed, falling for unfair terms and conditions, and potentially getting a virus on computers and mobile devices. The good news is that there is an alternative to accidentally getting screwed over by sketchy operators. Gamblers can explore South Africa online casinos on Casinority South Africa that care about the safety of players and the fairness of operators.

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