Partnership is the right approach to mitigate the effects of Covid-19?

The partnership starts with finding commonality of purpose-its about focusing on what connects us instead of what separates us during the pandemic crisis. That is an approach-and skill of growing importance in our increasingly demanding gambling markets it now more than ever since the coronavirus pandemic surface in the region.

It is not just about identifying mutual risk but agreeing to take action in ways that can unlock joint and public opportunities to the ever-growing numbers of punters in Africa which attitude towards gambling is evolving year on year. Particularly as we battle the pandemic crisis in Africa that has seen massive traction of players shifting towards online gambling. The commercial case for strategic partnership has become more widely adopted over the past several years with industry stakeholders. Particularly the bookmakers, a financial service provider such as mobile money, telecoms sector, and software providers, are using it to significant effect. For example, operators are significantly moving from a go-it-alone model to a collaborative approach by establishing more partnerships with banks, card networks, Fintech, software providers, and leading technology companies that put customers at the center and ultimately drive shared value.

The partnership approach has equal or greater applicability beyond the commercial perspective to address some of the biggest challenges affecting the gambling space. For instance, a few years back, many local operators find it challenging to solve customers’ queries in real-time. Payments are a big challenge, particularly when we have a jackpot winner resulting in companies going bankrupt or closing down without any concrete decision. Resulting in the industry’s lack of trust from punters; this was some of the challenges the sector had to deal with a few years back. Still, the pandemic crisis much expected that many bookmakers in Africa are feeling the pinch of the pandemic already. That has resulted in most brands downsizing their workforce, and some could be closed down.

If we don’t approach it in the right direction, the industry could collapse and go back to the experience when customers win big, and it could take days or months to pay the winner. That could take us back to five years ago, resulting in players losing trust, it is now more than ever, bookmakers partner with the right stakeholders to mitigate the pandemic’s effect. The partnership has taken the industry to a whole new height over the last five years resulting in the industry experiencing unprecedented growth rate in the previous few years, which now worth billions of dollars today. Thanks also to some of the recent gaming events in Africa that have opened the opportunities for foreign investors to establish their brands in Africa, it creates an environment for industry stakeholders to meet, discuss, and create an avenue for partnership. Indeed the grey area that is still lacking is the regulation sector.

A lot of African countries even have outdated gambling laws, while some again haven’t legalized online gambling. However, the pandemic has made the government of different countries realizing going digital with there services is the way forward to support the dwindling Africa economy. For example, South Africa, which is illegal for players to gamble in certain gambling games like online casinos, is now legal in some provinces in the country.

Consequently, it is even more of a reality in the region that over the next five years, more African countries that haven’t adequately regulated or legislated online gambling will be fruitful in years to come. Further, for us to fully harnessed these African industry regulators need a holistic approach through a partnership from industry experts in the areas of regulation. Or partner with the right regulatory board to guide them on adequately regulating the industry, especially online gambling, as well as manage gambling addiction that is becoming more prevalent in Africa’s gambling ecosystem. However, our approach to that effect has to be one of the draw-back to the gambling industry in Africa.

The ever-evolving industry in Africa by its nature, never done, and no sector can do it all alone. To effectively meet this fundamental challenge of the COVID-19 crisis and the digital era, we must work together in a trusted partnership across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with what binds us together and determination. However, the growth of gambling in Africa is all down to cooperation by industry stakeholders, which has been using to more significant effect in the last five years. For the emerging Africa gambling industry, perhaps it is now more than ever for a robust partnership as the battle to contain the pandemic continues globally.

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