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February 15, 2024

The Growth of African iGaming: Insights from ICE London 2024

Thando Dlamini
Written byThando DlaminiWriter
Researched byRajesh NairResearcher

The 2024 ICE London gambling trade show has highlighted the growth opportunities present in the African iGaming sector. Ella Williamson from ICE VOX interviewed Caroline Kongwa, Chief Strategic Adviser for South Africa’s National Gambling Board, to gain insights into the country’s appeal for investors.

The Growth of African iGaming: Insights from ICE London 2024

Steady Expansion Amidst Global Disruption

According to Kongwa, while COVID-19 disrupted many industries globally, gambling in Africa was one sector that continued to expand steadily. South Africa, in particular, emerged as a leading African gambling jurisdiction, demonstrating great resilience and opportunities, especially in the post-COVID betting sector.

Online Betting Takes the Lead

The betting sector in South Africa has experienced remarkable growth, with online betting now accounting for 50% of the country's 47 billion rand gambling industry revenue. This represents a significant increase from the pre-pandemic period when betting only contributed 23% of the revenue. Kongwa attributes this surge in revenue to the growing popularity of online betting platforms.

Coexistence of Different Gambling Modes

Despite the rapid growth of online betting, land-based casinos and lotteries have not suffered a decline in profits. Kongwa emphasizes that these traditional gambling modes continue to generate pre-pandemic levels of revenue. This resilience in the industry as a whole demonstrates the coexistence of different gambling modes and the diverse preferences of South African gamblers.

Addressing Concerns of Problem Gambling

With the increase in gambling activity, there are concerns about addiction and social harm. Kongwa acknowledges the need for monitoring and addressing problematic gambling behaviors that may arise with the growth of the industry. The National Gambling Board is committed to striking a balance between profitability and public safeguards.

Regulatory Certainty and Compliance

South Africa's regulatory framework and strict licensing requirements make it an attractive investment environment for iGaming. Kongwa highlights the country's long-standing gambling laws and high standards for market entry, which instill confidence in investors looking to enter this thriving market.

In conclusion, the African iGaming sector, particularly in South Africa, presents significant growth opportunities. The expansion of online betting, alongside the resilience of traditional gambling modes, showcases the diverse landscape of the industry. However, it is crucial to address concerns related to problem gambling and ensure the implementation of effective safeguards. With its robust regulatory framework, South Africa offers a favorable environment for investors seeking to capitalize on the potential of the African iGaming market.

About the author
Thando Dlamini
Thando Dlamini
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Thando Dlamini, a vivacious 22-year-old from South Africa, seamlessly blends her love for the vibrant world of online casinos with her meticulous localization skills, making the digital gaming experience truly South African.

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