While many will overlook the entire continent when it comes to sports betting in Africa, as the industry globally is growing as well, lower nominal figures are hiding the fact of incredible growth. The majority of regions and countries are experiencing a steep rise in both options and players.
Generally, there are three main reasons why the sports betting industry here is growing much faster than in the rest of the world:
- Better infrastructure
- Expanding economy
- Growing population
For some countries like Kenya, which have experienced a tenfold rise in GDP over the last two decades, it is expected that tertiary industries like gambling and gaming will experience a late but explosive rise.
With a very young population entering the workforce and having significantly more resources it is not surprising that so many players choose to bet in Kenya Betsafe among the other major operators.
What happened to the gambling and betting industry in Kenya, and all over Africa, couldn’t be predicted to this measure. In many ways, it was a stellar alignment where multiple factors ended up working together to create a perfect storm.
Primarily, there is the rise of the local economy. The financial, technological, and medical leaps in the country were so significant that the quality of life for every Kenyan doubled in the last three decades.
Then, there is the fact that entertainment such as sports betting, which is more appealing to the younger population than casino games, has become more accessible. There is no need to travel to a bigger town to bet on a match, as you can do it using your smartphone.
Finally, there is the acceptance of sport and competition by the local culture. Wagering on sports has a long tradition with the local Kikuyu, Luhya, and Kalenjin cultures that form a sizable part of the local population.
Many Kenyans won’t even know the struggles of their mothers and fathers just after independence. Now it is counted as a moderately developed nation and still isn’t reaping the benefits of the population boom.
Additionally, the openness to the global economy via the internet and with Kenyans being Anglophone means that many people can now work online for comparative wages globally.
Finally, the sports betting industry itself became more accessible and significantly less expensive for entry, seeing throngs of new players every single day.
With 40 million Kenyans reaching adulthood in the next 20 years, it is only predicted that the economy will keep rising. And, with that population and economy, the need for entertainment and amenities will follow.
One of the biggest factors of increased interest in sports betting in Africa can be clearly seen if we notice some industries that have seen a similar rise in the region, such as mobile gaming. The accessibility of such entertainment is a clear reason for its popularity.
Namely, while an average Kenyan will take home roughly $650 each month, that is more than enough to have an Android phone. Such devices are not considered a luxury in the country anymore, but a necessity.
Thus, many will play games and entertain themselves using these devices. Once that is combined with the availability of watching sports online and the tradition of sports betting, the rise of the industry becomes apparent.
Finally, while many criticize the impact that might have on the youth, there is little chance that the legislators will be able to prevent the huge demand this type of entertainment has.