East Africa is now one of the most fascinating and appealing places in the world for betting and gaming. The activities have long been popular in that region, and the increasing use of cellphones and the internet has increased access to online gambling in East Africa.
According to Alessandro Pizzolotto, CEO of STM Gaming, a BtoBet approved partner in Africa,
East Africa would dominate in mobile and online gambling owing to the high number of registered and active mobile money accounts per capita, as well as the volume of such transactions. It therefore leads the whole African continent in payment gateway transactions and mobile money transactions, while in Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of individuals using mobile phones to make bets is gradually growing, particularly among young people and millennials.
All of these statistics and trends point to the region becoming a global leader in online gambling.
The popularity of online gambling has increased awareness and acceptability of cryptocurrency-based casino websites, where deposits and withdrawals may be made using a variety of digital currencies. These are also gaining popularity and will help drive the entire online gambling ecosystem in Africa and elsewhere.
There have been some issues with Africa’s lax rules and regulations, which have been described as ideal for gambling.
However, the M-Pesa and SMS payment troubles in Kenya last year shown that local rules operate, as the governments actions cut millions of people off from an extensively utilized network. The government laws were arguably unnecessary, but they demonstrate a solid regulatory structure, which can only benefit online gaming in the future.
The availability of payment services and gateways is the main reason for East Africa’s popularity in online gambling,
despite the continent’s lack of financial inclusion. Mobile money accounts per capita are rapidly increasing in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, outpacing bank accounts. Due to the absence of established banking infrastructure and the decreasing cost of cellphones and internet subscriptions, mobile money transfers have become very popular throughout Africa, but notably in east Africa.
Comparing Nigeria and Kenya, these disparities are evident. 73% of Kenyans have a mobile money account, whereas 56% have a bank account. In Nigeria, just 39% of individuals have a bank account, and 5.6% have a mobile money account. Mobile money has increased financial inclusion in East Africa, which explains why online gaming is so popular there.