Online gambling continues to spread around the world. Over the past decade, online sports betting has grown extremely popular in Africa. Now, online casino gambling in Africa is becoming one of the most popular forms of wagering on the continent.
Many of the countries here allow for land-based casino gambling. Unsurprisingly, more people throughout Africa are realizing the benefits of gambling online. Today, we’re looking at how Africa’s online casino industry has grown so quickly.
Gambling has been taking place in many African countries for decades. Uganda and Kenya, in particular, have two of the largest land-based and online gambling markets outside of North America and Europe. Recently, both of these countries have begun to update their gambling laws.
In January, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced he was preparing to ban all forms of gambling. This was met with serious backlash from Ugandans and gambling operators in the country. Just a couple of weeks later, the President announced he was not setting a blanket ban on gambling, and instead was choosing to push foreign gambling companies out of the country.
Museveni claims that these foreign gambling sites were benefiting without contributing anything to Uganda. Matia Kasaija, Finance Minister of Uganda, recently reaffirmed that the country would no longer renew gaming licenses for foreign gambling companies.
Kenya has also begun to set new regulations on the gambling industry.
In late May, lawmakers in Kenya proposed a new bill to take better control over their “untamed gambling market.” One of the new requirements is for Kenyan gambling companies to pay $1 million as a deposit in case the company cannot pay out a player’s winnings. The government also wants to update the country’s gambling authority in order to monitor gambling operators.
For many years, sports betting dominated Africa’s gambling industry. Now, online casino gambling is starting to take over. With mobile payments now available throughout the continent, this popular form of wagering is easier than ever.
For many years, African banks prohibited individuals from depositing money into gambling accounts. Mobile gambling allows these gamblers to deposit their money using a smartphone. More than 300 million Africans are estimated to own smartphones, and the mobile money market here is currently estimated at $15 billion.
Traditional casino gambling has always been popular throughout Africa, yet many of the land-based casinos here charge high fees that locals cannot afford. Many individuals are realizing that online casino gambling in Africa offers a more diverse selection of wagering options to fit different budgets.
Today, many of the biggest online gambling sites in Europe are still available in Africa. Most of these websites feature hundreds of slots and a wide range of different table gaming options.
In most of Africa, gambling operators are not restricted in the same way that they are throughout the US and Europe. In many African countries, mainstream television actively works to promote online gambling. Radio stations and newspapers also help to promote these gambling companies.
Kenya is one of the few countries to begin cracking down on gambling advertisements. In May, lawmakers here announced a new set of laws to ban gambling ads outdoors and on social media.
This country has also made it illegal for gambling ads to appear on television between 6 am and 10 pm. Celebrities can no longer endorse gambling operators as well.
Fred Matiang’i, Interior Minister of Kenya, recently commented on why these new regulations are being set in place.
“Rogue behaviour in the betting and lotteries industry is endangering the lives of our young people,” he said. “This clean up has just started and we will carry it through no matter what it takes, because young Kenyan lives are worth saving.”
Online casino gambling in Africa is more popular than ever before. Many major companies recognize that the African online gambling market is one of the most lucrative in the world. Hopefully, countries here set regulations on the industry to protect vulnerable individuals from the pitfalls of gambling addiction.
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