• Friday, July 12, 2024
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How popular football leagues have changed the betting industry in Africa

Proliferation of sport betting platforms

The history of betting can be traced back to the 18th century. The first recorded betting activity took place in 1776 when a man by the name of Sir Leonard Atherton placed a bet on a horse that would come last and won a significant amount of money.

Since then, the betting industry has progressively grown in terms of the number of bookmakers and bets placed every day. Statistics from the “Research And Markets” indicates that the gambling industry collected revenue of $72.02 billion in 2021 and this figure is expected to hit $112.09 billion by 2025.

These figures might be higher because very few countries have legalized betting, the USA being one of them. Researchers cannot account for revenue from countries where betting is illegal.

In the year 2010, Africa only contributed 0.64% of the global gambling revenue but this has increased to 1.1% (2021). This shows that the gambling market is expanding rapidly with the population of young Africans. According to Samuel Abubakar, Football Betting Specialist at AfricaCasinoHub.com, the increase in revenue is majorly linked to the popularity of football leagues. Here are some of the reasons why these leagues are popular and have changed the betting industry in Africa;

Africans’ Passion for popular football leagues

Africans have always been passionate about sports and there is no doubt about their love for football. Even though there are other sporting events like rugby, basketball, netball, volleyball, and cricket, football tops the list. Africa has produced exceptional footballers who have left indelible marks in the world of football. Some of these players have become household names and one cannot hold a long conversation without naming Didier Drogba, Mohamed Salah, Yaya Toure, Nwankwo Kanu, or Sadio Mane.

The association of African players with major leagues has had a positive impact on the popularity of these leagues. For instance, the popularity of the English Premier League in Africa is evident by the number of people following it and watching it on television.  In Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania, the English Premier League (EPL) matches are televised live and attract huge audiences in bars as well as homes. These fanatics not only follow their teams but also place bets.

Betting companies have noticed the popularity and potential of football in Africa and have decided to focus on this market. The good thing about these markets is that they encourage opinion from players to improve their betting experience while at the same time improving their revenue. As a result, the number of Africans involved in betting has significantly increased. Major leagues are broadcasted live in Africa and odds are updated minute by minute adding to the interest among fanatics.

Increase in Digital Literacy and mobile use

The popularity of football leagues and sports betting in Africa has seen a surge because many people have embraced new technologies. Affordable internet and access to mobile phones have made it easy for betting companies to promote their services and reach a wider population within a short timeline. At the same time, there has been a steady increase in literacy and digital skills among mobile users and most of them are the youth.

At the moment, sports fanatics in Africa can stream live football through their mobile devices. Technological advancement has also been beneficial to betting firms because they can develop mobile apps and develop websites. Besides, they have taken advantage of social media to promote their services. There are also new betting companies in Africa that have embraced Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment methods.

African Young Population

Africa has the highest number of people below the age of 30 and this translates to the youngest population in the world. This population has helped change the betting industry in Africa because the operators can easily reach their potential clients who use technology in high proportions. Besides, the cost of registering with these betting sites is very low and this makes it easy for young punters.

Due to the high unemployment rate in Africa, the younger population has shifted to betting as a source of income. When we associate the popularity of the football leagues with unemployment, we expect betting companies to have a higher demand. Moreover, the untapped market in African countries has increased the popularity of betting firms in the region.

Celebrity Endorsements

When popular football leagues are associated with celebrities like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, or even Lukaku as brand ambassadors, there is a high chance that punters will align to these betting sites. They see celebrities as role models, therefore, play with these betting sites. African football fanatics have such a high level of trust and respect for their players in international football.

The essence of most football celebrity endorsements in Africa is done in a very subtle manner. A celebrity can wear a t-shirt that has a logo. This does not necessarily have to be a logo of a betting site but the fact that a celebrity is wearing a t-shirt that is branded generates support for that site among bettors.