Map of Africa

Sports Betting and Online Gambling in Africa: On the Rise

Sports betting is more and more popular in many African countries, fueled by the continent’s love of sport. Online betting receives most of the growth.

The interest in sports betting in Africa is rapidly increasing, and the betting industry has responded with expansion on the continent. Africa is a continent with many countries, cultures, religions and languages, but in general the love of sports is strong throughout the region; sports betting being a natural consequence of that passion.

The COVID pandemic has led players away from visiting land-based gambling venues, with technological advances transitioning them to online gambling, as mentioned below.

A huge market with lots of potential

It’s not surprising that Africa is an attractive market with a huge potential for growth, with its population of about 1,4 billion people (with a low age average), recent economic expansion and the continent’s major progress in, and love of, big sports such as football (soccer, which has always attracted huge interest in Africa), basketball, cricket, rugby, cycling and athletics.

Another explanation for the rapid growth in online sports betting is the increased access to affordable technology such as smartphones, steadily improving internet services, secure mobile payment systems (such as M-Pesa) and lower data costs, according to an article in The Guardian. This combination of technological development has also paved the way for live betting, which is very popular worldwide.

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Some facts and numbers

  • 60 million residents of Nigeria were reported to be active sports bettors in 2020
  • According to the South African government, more than 50% of South African adults place sports bets regularly
  • Football (soccer) betting is the most popular bet, with more than 50% of stakes 
  • Estimations from 2021 value the African sports betting industry alone at $40 billion
  • Expected growth rates in the African betting markets is more than 10% yearly
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Regulations and licenses

Africa has 54 recognized countries, each with their own laws and regulations. This makes it difficult to say something general about gambling laws, licenses and regulations.

At one end of the scale you have a country like Sudan which has forbidden all forms of gambling (with dire consequences for law-breakers), at the other end you have South Africa with numerous physical casinos as well as a huge selection of online casinos and sportsbooks. Some predictions estimate South African gross gaming revenues to pass $2.3 billion by next year (2023).

Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Botswana are a selection of countries that allow and enjoy gambling such as sports betting and casinos.

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Entering the African markets?

Netbots Norway will never claim to be experts in the African betting markets. However, we do offer a product portfolio of groundbreaking sportsbook solutions that provide great value for both your sportsbook and your customers, whatever country they are located in. Our strength lies in cutting operating costs, increasing revenues and, above all, helping to build strong sportsbook brands with loyal and happy customers. 

For example, we can offer content, “instant gaming” and iGaming widgets that integrate seamlessly with your sportsbook platform to make your brand stand out from the crowd. As well as artificial intelligence to help manage risk and customer segmentation with huge costs saved compared to a profiling team.
Take a look at our product portfolio at and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter

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