The African market represents a ton of potential for the iGaming industry with the South African sector in particular set for rapid growth over the next few years.
As the most technologically advanced economy in Africa, South Africa has always been viewed by the rest of the world as a window to the continent, a sort of bridge between the developed economies of the world and the developing ones in Africa.
According to the Gambling Outlook report by PwC, the industry is set to grow into an R35-billion industry by the end of this year. Although there are still some intricacies to the South African market that make it unique.
For example, there are still some challenges around licensing in that brick and mortar casinos and sports betting are legal but online casinos based inside the country are not. However, local gamers are allowed to play on foreign online casinos in South Africa.
The good news is that situation is only going to become more straightforward for all involved with significant pressure from regulators inside the country to reduce gambling legislation to help the already thriving industry flourish even more and combat the growing issue of illegal gambling.
“The industry remains an important contributor to the economy through the creation of jobs, continued capital expansion and the payment of taxes to both provincial and national government,” explains OwC gambling industry leader Pietro Calicchio.
There are several reasons why Africa as a whole is such an exciting business prospect, not just for the iGaming industry, in the medium to long term future. It is the second-largest continent in the world by sheer landmass and makes up nearly a fifth of all the land surface on earth.
Africa has the youngest population of any continent in the world
With such a large area comes a lot of people – 1.3-billion as of July 2020 according to Statistics Times. That’s not all, it has also been the fastest-growing continent in the world since 1967 with a very high average annual population growth rate of just short of 2.5% in 2020. It is projected to remain above 2% for at least the next two decades as well.
By way of comparison, the average annual growth rate for Europe in 2019 was 0.12% and it hasn’t been above 0.35% since 1990. It is predicted Africa added around 32 million people to the world in 2020, which is roughly the same population as the whole of Malaysia – the 45th biggest country in the world by the number of people.
This means over half of Africa’s population are young people (below the age of 25), and it is the only continent on Earth in which the population is getting younger every year. Where Europe and North America are very much regarded as established markets, Africa is where all the potential lies.
Quality internet connections are also on the rise
As it stands, Africa features the lowest internet penetration rate of any continent on Earth with only 22% of Africans able to reliably connect to the internet at will. Some might see this as a negative aspect of the continents business prospects but nothing could be further from the truth.
The reason for this is that internet penetration is constantly on the rise in Africa, so if you think it holds potential now imagine the possibilities when 50% or more of the continent has access to a quality, reliable internet connection, which will happen in the not too distant future.
Already in countries like Kenya, there are almost as many internet users as there are in the United States of America. It is only a matter of time until Africa becomes a major economic player on the global stage.