Mobile Money & the Link of Sports Betting in Africa

Gambling is an activity that has been around for millennia. In many parts of the Dark Continent, betting on horse races was a common practice for centuries, and evidence shows that the Ancient Egyptians enjoyed dice. So Africans are no strangers to games of chance or wagering on sporting events despite what people from other pieces of land on Earth may think.

Yes, most African nations have strict gambling laws for locals, and there aren’t as many gaming establishments in the Mother for Mankind, but many of those that inhabit it partake in this hobby online.

According to research, South Africa contributes to around 80% of all gambling revenues produced on the world’s second-most populous continent. Kenya and Nigeria are booming markets but are trailing significantly behind the rainbow nation concerning money generated from this pastime.

Uganda, Tanzania, Morocco, Botswana, and Ghana also rank among Africa’s top gambling territories, with many of their citizens playing casino games and betting on sports at home-based and offshore soccer, basketball, and NFL betting sites.

In Ghana, per stats from the nation’s revenue authority, sports betting in 2016 produced net revenues of around $3.5 million per month. This government hopes that the 17.5% tax levied on the gambling sector will help it pull in projected taxes of 80.3 billion in Ghanaian Cedi by the end of 2022.

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Expectations for this occurring are primarily due to the introduction of electronic transactions (1.5% tax) and Ghana’s thirty-three sports betting companies and eight casinos operating better than expected.

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The Rise of Mobile Payments in Africa

Per the Bank of Ghana, around 40% of Ghanaians above fifteen use mobile payment solutions. In 2021, $126 billion in smartphone transactions get processed in Ghana, making the Land of God one of the fastest-growing mobile money markets.

For those unfamiliar with mobile money, these are funds held by electronic wallet services that allow users to store, receive and send money using an app installed on their phones. Accounts on such a service are similar to bank ones.

The cause why mobile money is responsible for more than $490 billion in yearly African money transactions is because this option provides financial inclusion. In other words, it supplies a way for those without a bank account to participate in the economy. That has led to the Ghanaian and African mobile money boom, as Africa remains one of the most under-banked regions on Earth. Only 42% of Ghana’s population aged fifteen or older has a bank account, and the ratio of banked-to-unbanked adults here is more dramatic than the African average. Note that this percentage represents a 15% decrease from 2021.

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How Sports Betting Has Benefited From Cashless Transactions

The Gaming Act of 2006 governs sports betting in Ghana, which gets regulated by the nation’s Gaming Commission. Citizens above eighteen can legally gamble at licensed betting platforms through devices like a PC, a tablet, or a smartphone. Even though Ghana has native internet gambling hubs, many residents use foreign ones due to the advantages.

Around thirty million Ghanaians are between the ages of nineteen and thirty-four, and this is the demographic that chiefly gets attracted to sports betting. A survey conducted by researchers from the University of Ghana, the University of Huddersfield, and the University of Essex, showed that 50% of adolescents in sub-Saharan countries like to bet and that Ghanaian adolescents boasted a low participation rate for the region, with only 42%. While, in general, that may seem high, it is dramatically lower than the one Kenyan adolescents exhibited (76%).

The fear is now that with the swift adoption of mobile money, more people than ever will try their hand at sports betting, a digital phenomenon that is sweeping the globe. Real-money casinos also have a substantial user pool that grows exponentially every week.

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Without argument, mobile money has made gambling simpler than ever, and those in need of quick cash are turning to this activity. Many African tech powerhouses are also looking to explore options in this field, seeking to launch new platforms that will facilitate payments via mobile methods like M-Pesa.

Betting on Sports the Right Way

Most people who place mobile bets do not win. Gambling operators always have a long-term advantage over their gamblers. That is valid for casino games and sports betting.

Those wishing to partake in the thrills wagering on highly-publicized sports events can deliver should only do so with funds they can afford to lose. Borrowing money for gambling fun is a bad idea.

Responsible betting is essential in keeping this practice a strictly entertainment-based activity. Not keeping track of money wagered, not budgeting wisely, and chasing losses can lead individuals into financial problems they will struggle to bounce back from and recover.

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