How does Online Sports Betting work in Africa?

While still relatively new, online sports betting is growing rapidly in Africa. Photo by: Creative Commons.

Online sports betting remains a relatively fresh arrival to many African nations. At the same time, the African market is among the most rapidly expanding entities within the online sports betting industry.

The six nations where online sports betting is exploding on the African content include Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.

Let’s take a comprehensive look at how sports betting works in Ghana and Nigeria.

Following The Rules

How are sports betting governed? What laws are enforced regarding online wagering? Are there any restrictions in place that prohibit certain types of wagering, or betting on particular sports?


In terms of gambling laws, Ghana is generally the wild west. It’s about as wide open as a country can be in terms of what’s good to go.

Basically, any person 18 years of age or older are permitted to wager on sports, both at a retail sports betting shop, online, or via a mobile device.

Online wagering has exploded in the country since 2006 when the country introduced the 2006 Gaming Act. This law regulates operators. All must be licensed by the Ghana Gaming Commission.


Is online sports betting legal in Nigeria? Well, that depends on who you ask.

The criminal code within the country prohibits all forms of gambling that haven’t received prior approval from the government. However, there is no specific language that speaks to online betting, leaving it in somewhat of a grey area. And there’s little evidence of enforcement of any regulations against online sportsbooks within the country.

It’s estimated that some 60 million Nigerians bet regularly on sports.

Which Sports Are Popular With Bettors?

Betway, a popular sportsbook in Africa, are sponsors of West Ham United of the EPL. Photo by: Joshjdss (flickr).

Both Ghanians and Nigerian punters love to put down plays on European soccer, with most of the bets going on the English Premier League in each nation.

In Ghana, they’ve found that this has led to a decline in popularity in the local leagues. To combat this, sportsbooks now offer wagering on those leagues as well.

The NBA is also liked by bettors in both countries. The NBA recently announced plans for a pro league in Africa. Tennis, boxing, rugby and cricket also draw significant interest in terms of wagering.

Where to Bet?

Finding a solid, trustworthy and reliable online betting site is a vital component no matter where in the world wagers are being placed. There are a number of popular players among the best online betting sites that hold a place of prominence across the African content.

A site based in the United Kingdom, Betway naturally offers a deep menu of wagering on soccer from around the world. Naturally, as the official sponsor of West Ham United, Betway’s EPL offerings are well-populated with every type of wager imaginable.

Headquartered in Gibraltar, 888Sport is another site that will leave soccer bettors with more wagering options than they have money in their pockets. At 888Sport, they don’t offer the variety of sports that other sportsbooks do. They focus on doing what they do well and they do soccer very well.

William Hill took its first bet on a sporting event in 1934. With that kind of history in its corner, the venerable British bookmaker is about as trustworthy as they come. But they’ve also proven to be a company that is always on the cutting edge of technology, marrying old-school smarts with modern-era savvy.

Going Mobile

For online sports betting to work in most African nations, a compatible mobile app is an undeniable necessity. Africans aren’t as likely to have a laptop or desktop computer but just about everyone owns a mobile phone with internet access.

In Nigeria for instance, estimates are that 30 per cent of the population is utilizing their mobile device of choice – whether that be Android or Apple iOS – to wager on sporting events. Further projections suggest that $5.5 million is wagered on sports daily in the country.

Considering that so many Africans rely on their mobile device to bet sports, it’s important that they find a sportsbook that permits deposits and withdrawals via their mobile app.

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