The Evolution of Sports Betting in Tanzania

Tanzania has the reputation of being a pioneer in the field of gambling on the African continent. The Investment Promotion and Protection Act of 1992 and the Tanzania Investment Act of 1997 marked the beginning of legal gambling in the country as they stimulated leisure and tourism-related investment in the country, and along came gambling as well.

The government decided that it needed to regulate this sector more effectively. 1n 2003, with the enactment of Gaming Act of Tanzania the country established legal body, the Gaming Board of Tanzania to oversee the gambling industry while Tanzania is one of the first East African countries to regulate online gaming in 2012; the Internet Gaming Regulations came into existence in 2016.

The sports betting in Tanzania is practised that existed since even before the establishment of legal betting in the country whenever the two fierce local rival match between Yanga and Simba there has been a form of betting, but recently due to the popularity of major European leagues among young adults in the country as transformed the whole gambling landscape in the country whereas betting on football is the norm for the average young population in Tanzania whereas on weekend match days where you will find a giant screen in betting shops that are often full to the packed with fans cheering up they favourite teams while some are waging on bets also. Further, the increased numbers in the popularity of football fans, particularly the English league as also spurred tremendous growth in the recent years since local hero Tanzania forwarder Mbwana Samantha signed for Aston Villa in January, the number of Tanzania users viewing Aston Villa matches has more than trebled to 229% according to reports survey while the English league as also seen huge viewership in the country.

Also as unbelievable as it may sound many, sports betting became and still a source of income for some Tanzanians as it reports sports betting has become common not just for young adults or jobless but rather for people of all ages in Tanzania. The booming business has further fueled by continuous advancements innovations technology, digital transformation and digital inclusion in the country such as the mobile market penetration grew at 85% to 47.76 million subscribers, mobile money service reached 25.86 million as well as internet penetration that stood at 46% according to Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). All these stakeholders as contributed massively to the growth of sports betting in the country coupled with that flexibility of placing a wager at the comfort of your home thanks to the legislation of Internet Gaming Regulation in Tanzania which has been legal since 2012 but regulated in 2016.

In contrast that has seen the numbers of sportsbook operators increased to 22 licensed operators with 2,600 betting shops as against the first online sportsbook in 2013 which is just solely iplay8casin.com then, whereas the booming sports betting in the country as seen international betting brands establishing in themselves in the such as Pari match, 1xbet, SportPesa among a host of them. However, without mincing words sports betting generate substantial revenue to the government pulse and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product in the ratio of 3.5% yearly.

While a total of 1.5 billion shillings comes into the state treasury every month through sports betting data from the Gaming Board of Tanzania (GBT) shows that in the period of 2013/14 to 2015/16, sports betting have generated 30 billion shillings in total.

However, as stated earlier, sports betting is deemed to have grown faster due to the increase in gaming shops across the country as well as the mobile financial service coupled with the internet penetration in the country. Well, it is interesting to know that Tanzania is one of the countries in East Africa where sports betting is a lucrative business.

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