M-pesa a key mobile money payment provider in Africa acquired licence to operate in Ethiopia.  

Safaricom Ethiopia through its newly established and wholly owned subsidiary; Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC (Private Limited Company) received the Payment Instrument Issuer License from the National Bank of Ethiopia that enables it to avail mobile financial services to its customers under the trademark M-PESA.

Prior to issuing the license, The National Bank of Ethiopia amended the National Payment Systems Proclamation to provide the necessary regulatory framework for foreign-owned telecom operators to provide Mobile Financial Services (MFS) in Ethiopia, done in consultation with the industry players in the country.

“We are delighted to receive the license to establish M-Pesa and start providing Mobile Financial Services to our customers. M-Pesa comes with a tested and proven track record of enabling financial inclusion in Africa, provides services to more than 51 million customers across seven countries in Africa with a safe, secure, and affordable way to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments, get short-term loans and much more. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Government of Ethiopia, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Bank of Ethiopia for the support and guidance which will allow us to contribute our share to the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia fast tracking Digital Inclusion and promote innovation outlined in the Digital payments Strategy 2025.” says Anwar Soussa, CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia.

M-Pesa is Africa’s most successful mobile money service and the region’s largest fintech platform both for the banked and unbanked due to its safety and convenience.  It also provides financial services to millions of people who have mobile phones, but do not have bank accounts, or only have limited access to banking services.

In compliance with the applicable legislation in Ethiopia, the subsidiary of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia was set up with a 50 million Birr initial capital and will offer mobile financial services under the brand M-PESA by the second half of 2023.

This is great for the Ethiopian igaming industry accessing the most known mobile money provider across sub-Saharan Africa to its sports betting facet.

Source: Safaricom Ethiopia

The Influence of sports betting on the African Economies

Betting on sports is currently the most popular form of gambling in Africa. Adults and young locals are particularly fond of wagering on European football, e.g., the English Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, and events like the World Cup. Other international sports also get a loyal following here, with many watching and supporting cricket, rugby, horse racing, and basketball. Sports, particularly the passion for soccer, is the bind for most regardless of their culture, language, religion, status, or political persuasion.

For example, roughly 60 million residents aged 18 to 40 actively bet on sports in Nigeria. According to the same survey, Nigerians bet an average of 3,000 Naira or $15 daily.

According to a South African government survey in 2017, sports betting grew 14% yearly from 2008 to 2016. Today, online sports betting makes up 45% of the country’s gambling market, a completely different picture from ten years ago when casinos had an 80% market share. And it’s the same trend in Southern, Central, East, and West Africa. So, it’s unsurprising that the African gambling industry was worth US$ 3,048.05 million in 2021 and will grow by 6.99% until 2030.

Betting on a $3bn gambling market and a dynamic African economy

While gambling and betting laws are contested issues in most parts of Africa, many benefit from its operations. Stories and anecdotes from the region reveal that many see the growing betting industry as a source of income. As betting grows, the economy benefits.

One segment that directly benefits from the industry is the group of small betting shops that often run promotions, including ‘betting points’ for every sports wager. With this regular promo, and during events like the World Cup, their sales go up.

Regional economies also benefit through a boost in employment opportunities. The sudden surge in betting companies has provided locals with employment options, with thousands of Africans working for local and foreign companies. Aside from direct employment, betting companies create jobs by allowing locals to become agents and run their betting outlets. There are partnerships and sponsorships also that benefit other stakeholders. For example, a few European bookmakers have partnered with the Nigeria Football Federation, while Bet9ja was a title sponsor for the Nigerian National League. The same bookmaker has a million-dollar partnership with Big Brother Naija, a popular reality TV show.

African sports betting is unique in that it grows not in isolation but in step with other industries, particularly IT, advertising, and banking. As a result, there’s a symbiotic relationship between the sectors as stakeholders, each benefitting from the other. And some even argue that sports betting has given more in return.

 South Africa

The South African betting market contributes to the region’s economy, which can exceed $2.3 billion by the end of 2023. It’s a significant number since South Africa’s GNP is the third highest in the region. Moreover, with a bigger share per capita, local bettors have more regional purchasing power, allowing them to bet more significant amounts in online sportsbooks and betting shops.

Nigeria

It’s the same story with Nigeria, Africa’s second-biggest gambling market. According to auditing firm PwC, the Gross Gaming Revenue in the country was $58 million in 2018, and at that time, the team projected that it would rise by 16% over five years. But in 2020, it moved past the  $443 million mark. The massive growth of gambling in Nigeria started in 2004 when the ban was lifted.

Kenya

Kenya is another African country with a regulated betting industry. However, its growth slowed down with the introduction of restrictive tax laws. The Kenyan government introduced a 20% tax on bets and a 15% tax on the GGR. While it may benefit tax collections, it eventually backfired, with many operators leaving the Kenyan market.

In other African countries, sports betting’s contribution to their economies is not substantial or clear-cut due to strict laws and regulations. As mentioned, online gambling is illegal in 38 countries, and they still rely on colonial legislation.

 What’s ahead for sports betting and the African economy?

With these mindboggling data on bettors’ activities and revenues, it’s unsurprising that many African countries are looking to tighten tax laws and regulations and generate more revenues from the industry. As betting grows, so will its effect on the regional economy. So, the challenge for the governments and operators is finding a mutually beneficial arrangement for taxation.

And there are the social costs of sports betting, too. As one Uganda-based analyst suggests, the growth of sports betting “threatens to push young men and women into its fatal depths.” The government must consider the growing importance of betting to the African economy.

Source: African Business Communities

iGAMING SHOWS YOU SHOULDN’T MISS THIS YEAR

We kicked off with a banger at ICE London in February which was one of the biggest Clarion events show we have attended so far, the previous one wasn’t so productive following its absence during covid-19 times and then postponements that forced some tier-one companies to cancel their attendance, nevertheless, we attended, this was followed by SBC summit North America and then Last week headliner by the Casino Beats summit which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in St Julian’s, Malta.

So, what next after Casino beats? If you are looking to expand your knowledge, check out new products & services, get new clients, explore new trending technology innovations, and make new connections there are a couple of similar events to look out for as mentioned below;

  • Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2E Asia) is renowned as a key gaming and entertainment business hub across the continent. It is a must-attend marketplace for the Asian gaming-entertainment industry, offering a one-stop platform for industry professionals to network, forge fresh connections, source new products and solutions, and gain a deeper insight into the latest global industry trends. Every year, over 95% of Asian casino operators attend G2E Asia to look for cutting-edge products and solutions and gather upcoming industry trends. G2E Asia is the ideal hub where professionals network and conduct business. It will take place from the 30thof May to the 1st of June, 2023 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

  • SBEA, the 8th Annual Sports Betting East Africa+ Summit will be taking place from 13 – 14 July 2023 at Kabira Country Club, Kampala, Uganda. Sports Betting East Africa+ has been vital summits and exhibitions for African operators, regulators, manufacturers, payment and software providers, and other stakeholders to meet, share experiences, see the very latest gaming innovations and contribute to the overall development of the gaming industry across the region for the past 7 years. https://www.sportsbettingevents.com/sbea

  • Canadian Gaming Summit is the premier annual conference and trade show for gaming and betting professionals that offers the leading platform to network, share ideas and conduct business with key industry stakeholders from Canada and beyond. It will take place from the 13th– 15th of June 2023 at Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Canada. https://sbcevents.com/canadian-gaming-summit/

  • The All-American Sports Betting Summit presents a unique opportunity for businesses to expand their network, learn about emerging market opportunities, and engage with C-level professionals in the industry. Over three days, the summit will bring together key speakers, including leading authorities, operators, investors, and advisers from the gaming ecosystem, to share insights on the latest regulatory updates, the current state of the U.S. gaming market, and emerging trends within the industry. It will take place from the 27th– 29th of June, 2023 in San Diego US. https://www.eventus-international.com/aasbs

  • iGB L!VE 2023, is the only show that connects and celebrates the entire gaming community. Connect with 6,000+ of the industry’s best Affiliates, Suppliers, and Operators and take your iGaming business to the next level.  From 11th July 2023 – 14th July 2023 in RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands. https://www.igblive.com/igb-live-2023-register-interest

  • SiGMA Asia.With an eye toward new horizons, the SiGMA Group heads to Manila – connecting the sharpest minds in the sector, and bringing our vast network in the West closer to Asian suppliers, operators, and affiliates. From 19th July 2023 – 22 July 2023 Manila, The Philippines. https://sigma.world/asia/

 

  • SBC Summit Barcelona is a leading global betting and iGaming show with a comprehensive high-level conference, a program of major product launches, and a 300-booth expo. From 19th September – 21st September 2023. https://sbcevents.com/sbc-summit-barcelona/

 

  • Balkan Entertainment and Gaming Exhibition (BEGE Expo).BEGE is a meeting place, marketplace, debating forum, networking, and social hub for the gaming industry involving the demand and supply side, regulators, third parties, opinion formers, and industry leaders. Annually BEGE gathers more than 5000 visitors from 60+ countries. From 22nd November 2023 – 23rd November 2023 Inter Expo Center, Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

  • Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS).EEGS is the annual gaming conference, which keeps you on track with the latest regulatory and technological developments from the gaming and entertainment industry in the European region.

Summary highlights of the Nigerian Sports betting industry

Yesterday was a weekend mixed with emotions for all Arsenal fans across the world as they lost to Brighton their only ticket to the English Premier League title realm, it’s such football matches that have always made sports very unpredictable, entertaining, exciting, and very profitable on the other hand.

As the saying goes signed, sealed, and delivered.…… that we did yesterday to the title” As usual let’s take you on another tour in Africa this time we are in Nigeria.

 Nigeria is a West African country bordered to the north by Niger, to the east by Chad and Cameroun, to the south by the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west by Benin.  Nigeria is not only large in area, larger than the U.S. state of Texas—but also Africa’s most populous country with a population of over 200 million people so sports in Nigeria is big business.

The Draft 2020 National Sports Industry Policy estimated that the industry could generate 2 trillion Naira ($4.7 Billion) in average annual revenue, provide 5 to 10 million direct and indirect jobs and contribute about 1.5% to 3% of GDP over 10 years. The sports betting industry in Nigeria has enormously contributed to the growth of Nigerian sports, especially football that even some of the betting companies offer odds on matches played in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL). But the majority aren’t because they are still skeptical or cautious about the competitive nature of the NPFL.

With over 52 licensed sports betting companies – Bet9ja, NairaBet, BetKing, Betway, Betpawa, Sporty Bet, Winners, and 1xBet are some of the key players fighting to have the biggest shares of the market where over 60 million Nigerians aged between 18 and 40 years spend about $5.5m on sports betting daily, or $2 Billion annually which explains the potential of the market even with over 47 licensed sports-books.

Key Highlights

The increasing adoption of technology by betting companies supported by progress in digital penetration across the country is stimulating sports betting among the educated and the middle class with widespread unemployment in has been and continues to be the main reason for increased sports betting.

  • Over 33% of working-age Nigerians have no jobs. Among young people, 63.5%, or over 19 million, are either unemployed or under-employed according to the country’s statistics office.
  • Many people made sports betting a source of their livelihood.
  • Poverty in Nigeria cuts across the young and old, rural and urban dwellers, and men and women. Nigeria has 70 million poor people, over 30% of the population so many have found relief in sports betting and the hope of a big win.

The percentage of those who bet with N500 ($1) to N1000 as against bettors who spend far higher tells you that sports betting is largely fueled by poverty, the state of the economy, and the need for people to make ends meet.

iGaming in Ethiopia

While rich markets promise healthy revenues, smaller markets have their own appeal. Less competition means there’s plenty of room for new operators to get their foot in the door. With only a handful of domestic operators, Ethiopia is still a wide-open field.

Emerging markets in Latin America and Africa have been one of the biggest stories in iGaming in the past few years. Growing economies and a wave of liberal regulation are creating opportunities for established brands looking to expand as well as new entrepreneurs looking for the right market.

When it comes to Africa, most eyes slide over Ethiopia on their way to countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Kenya and Nigeria have, in some ways, modeled what the Ethiopian market could become in a few years. Both have larger economies (and in Nigeria’s case, a much larger population) but there’s a similar love of sports and betting.

Challenges but Potential: igaming in Ethiopia

Success is possible for online casinos in Ethiopia, but the road to get there is very bumpy. Despite being one of the world’s poorest countries, Ethiopia’s economy has grown by an average of 10% over the last 15 years, and overall poverty levels have been decreasing, however, it still lags behind other African nations that have taken their place on the international iGaming stage. Ethiopia’s GDP per capita ($936 in 2020) is half that of neighboring Kenya, but with a population of over 115 million, there are over twice as many Ethiopians to potentially place a few bets.

Sportsbook operators facing the Ethiopian market would have to count on players betting far less than the average in other regions, though maybe with a higher frequency. This falls in line with the main betting habits that operators can expect from players in this part of the world; a high volume of low-value bets. In Kenya, for example, players wager much less than in European markets but do so a few times a week or even several times a day.

Internet penetration also presents a challenge. Only an estimated 25% of the population is connected to the internet, and less than 40 individuals per 100 have mobile cellular subscriptions. This puts a limit on the number of possible players, though this should be viewed in the context of the country’s sizable population; 25% of 115+ million is still a significant audience.

Recent liberalization in the payments sector is creating more room for decentralized payment options, a positive development in a country where only an estimated 38% of adults 25 and over have an account with a financial institution or a mobile-money service provider.

Gambling Regulations in Ethiopia

Basically, Ethiopia is a classic gray market for online gambling. While land-based casinos and sportsbooks are legal, online gambling in Ethiopia is still in the gray-market stage of its development.

The National Lottery Association is responsible for setting regulations and issuing licenses. Reportedly, there is only one licensed casino, in Addis Ababa, that slot or roulette lovers can go to. That leaves the door open for online casino operators, either domestic or offshore; most potential Ethiopian players simply don’t have many options.

The only lottery is a state monopoly. However, as with casino betting, players aren’t prevented from playing lotteries run by offshore companies.

Ethiopian bettors

The balance between online sports betting and online casino gaming tilts decidedly in the former’s favor.

Sports bettors — an estimated 60% of the country’s gambling audience — usually log on to local online sportsbooks or online branches of land-based bookmakers. Casino players, without any domestic options, frequent offshore platforms, often looking for a Curaçao license to verify the brand can be trusted.

A gambling license from Curaçao will let your casino cooperate with financial institutions and leading software developers, as well as give it legitimacy in the eyes of the players.

It’s even possible that Ethiopian bettors prefer the Curaçao license to that of the country’s official regulator. While the charges were eventually dropped, several members of the National Lottery Association were accused of corruption in 2015.

As yet, there are only a handful of domestic operators. Some of the most popular local sportsbooks are Harifsport, Hulusport, Axumbet, Bestbet, and Gihon Betting.

Ethiopian punters primarily bet on football, but tennis, basketball, and (surprisingly) ice hockey can all be found on Ethiopian sportsbooks. Cricket, boxing, and MMA are also popular. European leagues like the Champions League, the Premier League, and Bundesliga all have their odds displayed on the front page of Ethiopian betting sites, and scrolling further down will yield even more worldwide options.

As always, localization is key. Most betting sites will be available in the local language, Amharic, as well as in English. Some sites offer other languages, such as Turkish or Portuguese, as well.

As mentioned above, operators would have to adjust their business model and expectations to players’ average income. With a GDP per capita of just over $900, Ethiopians simply don’t have much disposable income, and as such, the average bet will inevitably be lower.

Botswana gaming industry

Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa with a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and Okavango Delta with a small population of 2.3 million, the country was annexed by Great Britain in 1885 and remained a colony until 1966. On the 30th of September of that year, the first general elections took place and marked the establishment of the Republic of Botswana. The country’s gaming industry is famously known for its brick-and-mortar casinos. Most of them are housed by hotels or resorts making them a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Casinos

Most casinos open for 24 hours while others open for limited hours. Common casino games just like in most casinos worldwide are blackjack, bingo, Baccarat, Roulette, poker, and slot machines. Plus, almost every casino in Botswana offers live poker games. Casinos in Botswana are majorly clustered in two popular towns–Gaborone and Francistown. Gaborone Sun Hotel and Casino is the largest casino found in Botswana. It is located within the Grand Palm Hotel Casino Convection resort with its doors open 24/7.

The Sediment and CrestaThapama Hotel is a renowned casino located in Francistown. The casino is open for a limited time—11 am to 2 am. Other licensed physical-based casinos include Syringa Casino, King’s CasinoMarang Hotel and Casino, Moonlite Casino, Menateng Casino, Sedibeng Casino, and Letsatsi Casino. Sun International Group ran most of these casinos.

Regulation

The industry is regulated by the Gambling Authority which exists as an entity under the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI). According to the Gambling Authority of Botswana, the industry will have a strong external focus with a market that is largely outside Botswana’s borders by the year 2036. The authority affirms that this will be realized through an economy that is diversified, competitive, and private-sector-led, with sustainable business opportunities. This intent is further supported by the National Development Plan 11 which aligns with the national vision and commits to developing diversified sources of economic growth as one of the priority areas in the long term. Vision 2036 aims to transform Botswana from an upper-middle-income country to a high-income country within the next 15 years. This Vision identifies the following four key Pillars as the foundation of the principles it espouses: Sustainable Economic Development, Human and Social Development, Sustainable Environment, and Governance, Peace, and Security.

The Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry contributes to the Vision 2036 pillar ‘Prosperity for All’ and the NDP 11 ‘Economy and Employment’ thematic area. Therefore the Ministry drives policy formulation and strategies that seek to diversify the national economy through the creation of a conducive business environment, and diversified industries in addition to creating sustainable employment for Batswana by facilitating domestic and foreign direct investments. The Ministry also promotes the development of an entrepreneurial culture. These priority areas seek to address key national challenges such as poverty, unemployment, income inequality, and slow economic growth. Given the fact that the Authority is a regulator, its role in this transformation agenda is effectively facilitating the growth of the gaming industry. A position that was endorsed by both the NSO and the MITI.

Sports betting opportunity

As mentioned earlier the industry is occupied mainly by brick-and-mortar casinos with a few betting companies and the majority of international online sportsbooks that avail their offerings to this country meaning regardless of their population being small it’s a sweet heaven for small sportsbooks that would like to expand into Africa as a starting nest. Less investment reasonable business opportunity

By Najib Balinda attributed to the Gambling Authority of Botswana

 

 

The Rise of Virtual Sports in Africa

The African gambling industry has changed substantially over the last two years which notably arose due to the unprecedented outbreak of covid-19 that led to the growth of virtual sports far beyond what we all imagined since there was a time when all sports leagues were shutdown leaving sportsbook providers with no sports games playing to generate odds feeds from for their clients thus forcing punters to resort to only virtual sports and Esports.

The events in virtual sports are usually shorter than live sports events, lasting 3 – 5 minutes, and are depicted with extremely realistic graphics of the games made/created from real major sports leagues or races. Aside from realistic graphics and probabilities, realistic outcomes are possible in virtual sports events same as most betting markets in real Prematch and live sports betting.

 Thanks to technological advancements, an increase in both internet and mobile phone penetration, and a burgeoning population with a passion for sports, notably football. African bettors are growing aficionados of virtual sports in addition to regular sports betting across all popular betting sites and also in retail networks.

Why are virtual Sports Popular among African punters?

Virtual sports are appealing to football fans who wish to place larger numbers of modest wagers. This occurs to almost precisely coincides with modern African bettors. When you consider the age of the players and their fondness for technology, it’s easy to see why virtuals are so popular.

African demographics are characterized by youth. According to UN-Habitat figures, roughly 420 million people, or 35% of the continent’s population, are between the ages of 15 and 35. Sports bettors are typically younger over the world, and much more so in Africa. As many as 54% of sub-Saharan Africans aged 17 to 35 had at least tried betting Mobile betting is popular among African gamblers. According to GeoPoll, 75% of bettors use their mobile phones to place their wagers. As mobile adoption rises across the continent, sports bettors in some nations are more likely to have a mobile phone than a laptop

Virtual sports may be the first sports betting encounter for younger generations who have grown up in a world of high-definition graphics and video games. Betting on virtual sports can be utilized as a learning tool for people who are unfamiliar with the puzzling odds concept. Virtuals offer a larger frequency of betting possibilities, allowing punters to become familiar with the odds systems.

Virtuals provide skilled gamblers with the endless betting alternatives they’ve always wanted. Virtual sports bettors usually stop watching the event after a few weeks; the long-term attraction is the excitement of staking and winning money instantly after a few minutes. Playing the odds and putting their gut sense to the test is something many punters enjoy almost as much as the sport itself

In Africa, the great majority of sports bettors wager frequently but in small amounts. In Kenya/Uganda, for example, the majority of gamblers wager at least thrice a week, if not every day. According to a three-year-old IPSOS survey, the typical Kenyan resident aged between 18 and 29 spends $14 every month on betting. Virtual sports betting is well-suited to the low-volume, high-frequency betting habit. There’s also the issue of legal standing to consider. Games of skill, for example, are legal in Nigeria, but games of chance are banned. Because evaluating the odds before placing a wager requires ability, Nigerian punters can legally bet on virtual sports at any time

Finally, virtual sports appeal to the lifestyle and mindset of young, punters, which is why they are gaining popularity in Africa and worldwide. There’s never a shortage of events to wager on with 24/7 availability, thousands of events every day, plus the fact that virtual sports have no off-season

What are the forecasts for the future?

Any recipe for success must regard each country as an individual. Providers can also adapt their products to the market using virtuals. Football is a no-brainer, but the mix of other products, such as greyhound, horse racing, and Spin & Win (Virtual Roulette) will be determined by regional preferences

Virtual betting’s high-frequency, short-duration choice corresponds to most punters’ fast-paced lifestyles. It’s no surprise that operators consider Africa a strong market for virtual sports betting, given technology advancements, increased sports betting revenues, and a young and growing population In fact, gambling experts believe that virtual sports will outperform regular sports betting in terms of income. The moderating effects of virtual sports on the sports wagering business on the internet can be compared to the impact of streaming technology on the entertainment sector. With so much entertainment available at their fingertips, going to the movies for a new film has become more of a chore than an experience. Similarly, with virtual sports events available at all times, young African bettors may consider waiting for a live match to be a waste of time

When assessing the possibilities for virtual sports betting (or any other product) in Africa, it’s critical to avoid making assumptions about how development will proceed in other parts of the world. Understanding the future of the African betting market will rely on a thorough examination of its existing situation, rather than attempting to duplicate the growth of markets in Europe or Asia

African markets are expected to develop at their own speed, according to investors. The first thing that comes to mind is communication. Mobile adoption is surging across the continent, with Kenya surpassing 100% and other countries approaching comparable levels. While the Western world adapted to traditional telephones before moving on to the next stage of the technological revolution, the landline was rendered obsolete for many Africans even before it was deployed

Must haves before launching an online sportsbook in Africa

Products

No doubt sports betting is the key leader across most key markets in Africa however it’s important to keep in mind that online casino games are taking rocket sky growth too. Just like it is in the most advanced markets like the UK and the rest of Europe football is the most popular sport that bettors place bets on even though operators should look out for other sports coverage as these vary per market. E.g., in South Africa Horse racing, Tennis, and Cricket follow football whereas for most of the rest of the markets in Africa Tennis, Basketball and cricket take a secondary lead after football so these will definitely define turnover if coverage of sports offered in balance per market preference.

Virtual sports are very popular in markets that are mainly retail based whereas this is different in highly online faceted markets as online casino games have become secondary favorites after football even though for some markets virtual sports have proved to be a must-have product.

As mentioned earlier Online casino games are becoming very popular even though it’s important to note which providers one must have as their top inclusions on their platforms. The majority of sportsbooks have online casino games but their turnovers are still lagging behind because they haven’t taken into account which providers are favorites per specific markets. As experts in the region we are at your service to assist you make the best offering based on the market one may plan to establish their operations or are based.

Localization

Localization is key to commercial growth therefore is one of the key aspects operators must focus on as copy and paste will definitely cripple chances of succeeding in the region. When it comes to localization this entails product offering, services, operations, and modes of marketing & advertisement. Extensive research which would include all aspects of operations setup is very necessary I.e., from development strategies, marketing & advertisement, CRM systems and other tools that will best serve specific markets and then implement them is the best approach prior to investing heavily in marketing and advertisement that will yield very minimal results. Of course, constant analysis, development, and improvement are an essential part of the game too.

Lastly, localization player experience is also among the top priorities, which would allow the operator to create the most user-friendly journeys for each market.

Staff

The human factor is a very key factor of the equation too, operators should focus most on local professionals – employees/consultants who have experience and understand the best skills, and technical know-how when it comes to the implementation of most aspects of day-to-day operations.

Automation

In order to be fast and agile and to move with the pulse of the business, operators must invest heavily in the automation of processes. Every big idea should be automated immediately, and every human decision documented in a way that makes operating easy even for people who have never run a betting site together with local experience and know-how this combination will definitely be a great factor in driving success.

Payment methods

Mobile money is the most popular payment method across most key markets in Africa so this is a must-have and then other payment methods can be availed to as some advanced markets like South Africa have already advanced to top-level methods like those in the UK and the rest of Europe. While Mobile money is the most popular method of payment these differ based on specific markets e.g. Safaricom (Mpesa), Airtel & MTN are the leaders in most markets followed by other telecom providers like Vodafone, Glo, etc.

Compliance Expertise

Legal issues can greatly jeopardize the growth of the gambling business in some parts of Africa. The continent doesn’t have a long history in online gambling and while local authorities are figuring out the best frameworks to legalize betting, operators should be extremely adaptive as the legal frameworks are vastly different per market.

With very extensive experience across different markets in Africa having carried out marketing & advertisement campaigns for many tier-one African-based sportsbooks we are at your service to assist your operations get the desired market shares.

By Najib Balinda

Popular igaming payment method in Africa – MOBILE MONEY

Overview

Mobile Money is an electronic wallet service that allows you to store, send and receive money using your mobile phone. The key requirement is to have a telecommunication provider Simcard, for Africa main providers are MTN Group, Airtel, Safaricom, and Vodafone.

As Mobile numbers are a key requirement to opening an igaming account for punters to place bets/ play online casinos this paved way for integrations to be made into gaming and betting online platforms where punters can easily deposit money into their accounts with a few clicks from the mobile phones and also be able to withdraw their winnings straight to their mobile wallets.

Our Blog will highlight the role of mobile money services in the practice of gambling in general in Africa and another key must-know about the payment service (Mobile Money).

Mobile money is one of the best things to happen to Africa – For a continent where the habit of banking is growing but not at a pace that catalyzes fast development, mobile money revolutionized the handling of money for paying for products & services and embracing many industries including the gaming & betting industry too across all gaming markets in Africa.

 Before Mobile money, it was simply the physical betting outlets and online banking cards that didn’t really sit well with the majority of the clientele base that betting in Africa targeted. After its introduction, the industry couldn’t be rivaled by the amount of money that was moving through its systems on a daily basis. What spurred the phenomenon, even more, was the rapid growth of both mobile and internet penetration across many countries. The spread of Chinese-made cheap smartphones also ensured that everything was accomplished with simply a few clicks which paved largely the growth of online sports betting & gaming.

General Highlights

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more mobile money users than any other region in the world, with over 200 million active mobile money users by the end of 2021. This represents around half of the global total active accounts.
  • Value of Mobile money transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa – 697.7bn USD
  • Registered Mobile money accounts in East Africa as of 2021 – 296M
  • Value of mobile money transactions in East Africa – 403.bn USD
  • Leading service providers: MTN mobile money subscribers as of Sept 2021- 51.1M  and Mpesa (Safaricom) subscribers as of 2022 – 52M

Mobile money is undergoing rapid growth in Africa, driven by improved access to technology, difficulties accessing traditional financial services, and an increase in contactless payments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For those with no access to banking services, mobile money provides financial inclusion, a way to participate in the economy without a bank account. This has led to a boom in the use of mobile money in Africa, one of the most underbanked regions in the world. In 2019, 200 million users made 24.46 billion mobile money transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and Northern Africa, accounting for 64.15 of all transactions made worldwide. Of the 690.1 billion U.S. dollars in mobile money transactions made in 2019, 456.3 billion U.S. dollars were exchanged in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mobile money has become a big business for telecommunication providers in Africa. Approximately 144 mobile money providers operate in Sub-Saharan Africa, with two companies such as M-Pesa, MTN, and Orange Money accounting for a significant share of the market.

M-Pesa, managed by Vodafone and Safaricom and operating in seven countries, has seen significant growth in recent years. The service attracted an additional 12 million users from 2017 to 2020, reaching 41.5 million users by 2020. M-Pesa users made 12.2 billion transactions in 2020, generating 784.36 million U.S. dollars in revenue for parent company Safaricom. MoMo – MTN Group’s mobile money offering – has enjoyed similar growth – reaching 35.1 million active customers in March 2020.

The effect of under banking on the use of mobile money can be seen in Southern Africa, where banking services are easier to access. Mobile money has gained less of a foothold in that region, suggesting that unless another solution to financial exclusion in parts of Africa is discovered, the use of mobile money in Africa is set to grow even better in the future.

Mobile money accounts in Africa by region 2021 (in millions)

CharacteristicRegistered accountsActive accounts
East Africa296102
West Africa23758
Central Africa6019
Southern Africa134
North Africa151

Conclusion:  Mobile Money is a must-have payment gateway for any gaming or sports betting operator wishing to expand its operations into Africa

By Najib Balinda attributed to Statista.

SCCG and Genius Gaming Consult Enter into Business Development Partnership for Africa

Stephen Crystal, Founder and CEO of SCCG Management announced a business development partnership with Genius Gaming Consult of Kampala, Uganda, for the gaming market in Africa.

SCCG and Genius Gaming Consult enter into business development partnership for Africa

Crystal said of the announcement,

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with Mr. Najib Balinda, Genius Gaming’s Chief Business Development Officer – Africa, and their extended team. This group of seasoned gaming executives was a perfect fit for SCCG, both in terms of culture and vision, as we seek to build and extend the successes of the Casino Gaming, iGaming and Sports Wagering sectors within Africa. With a market whose revenue is expected to grow from USD 3B today, to USD 5B by 2030, largely concentrated in South Africa, we see tremendous opportunity for government regulated industry growth throughout the continent.”

With the collaboration of SCCG Management and Genius Gaming Consult, focusing on the growth and extension of regulated Gaming and iGaming for Africa at the B2B level, we are able to provide tremendous value to operators and suppliers who share this vision. Our ability to deploy turnkey services regionally, allow us to immediately add value to our business partners, including:

  • Feasibility Market Reports and Business Plans
  • License Application and Acquisition Support
  • Business Development and Management
  • Talent Acquisition and Placement
  • B2B Partnership Development and Negotiation
  • Due Diligence and Regulatory Reviews
  • Marketing and Advertising Support

This very special partnership between SCCG Management and Genius Gaming Consult allow us to bring the very best capabilities with respect to operations, systems, technology, platforms and content into Africa’s fast growing, high value Casino and iGaming markets.

ABOUT GENIUS GAMING CONSULT

Genius gaming consult (GGC) is a consulting firm servicing the gaming/gambling industry across Africa.Our services primarily include feasibility market report, B2B/B2C business development & management, operations setup/expansion, partnership setups, marketing and advertisement, license application and acquisition to sports betting, Casinos, Lotteries, Bingo & Esports operators, software & sports data providers, Slot machine manufacturers & service providers, investors, regulatory bodies and governments.

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About SCCG Management

SCCG specializes in sports betting and data, developing worldwide brands, representation before governmental agencies for complex regulatory matters, intellectual property, and strategic business development within international, land-based casinos, internet gambling, gaming, esports, and entertainment markets.

https://sccgmanagement.com

Contact

Stephen A. Crystal

Mobile/WhatsApp: +1 702-427-9354

Email: Stephen.Crystal@sccgmanagement.com

Social Media: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sccg-management