Unconnected population Threats to iGaming Industry Growth in Africa

Covid-19 and the Great lockdown triggered a mass migration from retail betting to online and highlighted that access to the internet is crucial for social and economic inclusion. High internet penetration and speed are essential for the foreseeable future for both iGaming brands and consumers to benefit from it.

Mobile betting is the new norm and having access to live stream sports events at the comfort of their home is, of course, going to be a game-changer for several punters as some sports betting site offers players such an opportunity to live stream football games. It could be expensive watching a live televised football match and complicated, especially those in rural and remote areas. Still, with their mobile phones connected to the internet, they save a lot of stress and money for players.

Also, mass connection to the internet will bridge financial exclusion by enabling access to financial service for everyone, especially for those living in remote as the lockdown triggers players to seek digital assistance. But if anything, the COVID 19 health crisis probably accelerated is the transition from retail betting to online betting.

Suddenly became a high demand commodity and betting enthusiasts who have never gone online had to place a bet, meaning those skeptical about betting online suddenly turned into prolific digital punters; this is one area the Covid-19 virus has accelerated in Africa. But still, there is a massive proportion of the unconnected population left out with no options whatsoever lack an internet connection. In Africa, there is still a coverage gap of 800 million people who live in areas not covered by networks. At the end of 2018, 44% of the world’s uncovered population was in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN. A World Bank report says, Africa’s need to have universal broadband connectivity access, African countries will need to bring about 1.1 billion more people online.

The working-age population in Africa is expected to increase by some 450 million people between 2015 and 2035 if current trends continue. The 100 million people in rural and remote areas that live out of reach of the traditional cellular mobile network have no mobile network service. The digital divide between those who have internet access and those who don’t is more like a chasm both within and between countries in the region despite the number of broadband connections in Africa crossed the 400 million mark in 2018 (nearly twenty times 2010 levels), the regional average broadband penetration 3G and 4G connections is only 25% in 2018. Mobile broadband coverage in Africa is still at 70% of the population. However, countries in sub-Saharan Africa are among those with the lowest access to the internet despite being world leaders in mobile money transactions.

There is also a considerable variation in internet connectivity by the people wider inequality. The lack of universal and affordable access to the internet poses a threat to the iGaming industry, with Africa’s population expected to increase by 83 percent of the global community. In order words, by 2100, one in three people on the planet will live in Africa. This is to say the demand for everything from the internet, education, and financial assistance service will be on high demand for the African population.

Consequently, as mentioned earlier, several players were left out during lockdown, which accelerated digital service for all sectors. The iGaming gambling market sees enormous numbers of players going online to place a bet even though the Africa iGaming industry experienced embedded success in recent years. Despite the fact that the iGaming gambling market reached an estimated $996 million in 2019. The unconnected population in rural and remote areas poses a significant threat to the projected five-year $2billion growth by IGaming Intelligence Specialist H2 Gambling Capital.

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