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Africa’s High-growth Virtual Betting Industry in the Limelight at SBC Digital Africa

The rise in popularity of mobile betting and gaming in multiple African markets, and the effect of the trend on operators, is set to be a central theme of this month’s SBC Digital Africa conference and exhibition.

The online event on 30 – 31 March will see a speaker line-up consisting of 60 senior executives and specialists who will share valuable insights and ideas on the emerging opportunities in the online space and the future of the land-based industry across the continent.

Retail bookmakers remain central to the industry in most markets in Africa, in part because of their status as community hubs that provide jobs and meeting places where sports fans gather to watch big soccer games.

However, improvements to internet infrastructure, the growing adoption of smartphones, and the sharp rise in the usage of mobile money services have made online betting an attractive option for operators. Internet usage stats from African nations with regulated online markets suggest the proposition is even more attractive to local players.

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Semrush data shows that Bet9ja.com is the second most visited website in Nigeria, behind only Google and just above Facebook, while BetKing.com is eighth on the list. Significantly, 97.7 percent of Bet9ja.com’s traffic comes from mobile.

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It is a similar story in Ghana, where Betway.com.gh occupies second place in the top ten most visited websites, behind Google and above YouTube. SportyBet.com and betPawa.com.gh also make the list, in sixth and seventh places respectively.

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The SBC Digital Africa agenda will investigate the market situation in both nations as part of the ‘Emerging West Africa’ conference track.

The ‘Nigeria: Generation Bet’ session will look at why so many people in the 18-40 age group are now active sports bettors and assess how the industry can improve service levels and player safety provisions for that demographic. ‘Ghana: Africa’s Next Big Market’ will see an expert panel assess whether betting operators have fully explored the opportunities in what is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Nations in East and Southern Africa are also seeing similar internet usage and Semrush’s top ten most visited website lists for Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania each feature a sportsbook.

Those traffic trends are reflected in search data. For instance, Google Trends data for 2021 shows that Betika is the second most common search query in Kenya, with SportPesa and OdiBets in the top ten, along with Livescore and the prediction site Forebet. Meanwhile, betPawa is the most common search query in Uganda and the third most common in Tanzania, while Hollywoodbets is the fourth most used search query in South Africa.

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SBC Digital Africa will also address the latest market developments in those territories as part of the ‘East Africa Opportunities’ and ‘Established South Africa’ conference tracks.

Rasmus Sojmark, Founder and CEO of event organizer SBC, said: “The internet is transforming Africa’s betting and gaming industry by creating easier access for players, simple payments processes, and a whole new customer experience. This growing popularity of online gambling presents a host of opportunities for operators, affiliates, and suppliers, but it also poses a new set of challenges, not least to regulators and retail bookmakers. The 60 expert speakers at SBC Digital Africa will draw on their on-the-ground experience of working in the continent’s varied markets to share valuable information about the changes now happening in them and ideas for how companies can respond effectively.”

Away from the online conference rooms, delegates will be able to see the latest innovations from sportsbooks, casino, and payments suppliers in the interactive product display area, and join networking roundtables to connect with fellow delegates with shared business interests.

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To find out more about SBC Digital Africa and to register for free, please visit the official website.

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