iGaming Growth in Africa

Tapping into the Potential

The emerging African iGaming industry is growing fast. Many facets have contributed to this surge, including the continent's geographic and demographic features, rising internet and mobile phone usage, and ongoing legislative developments. However, which markets should potential operators focus on, and what verticals and features should they consider before embarking on their African iGaming safari? Join us as we explore the ins and outs of iGaming Africa.

African Market Insights

Africa is home to 54 countries with a combined population of around 1.477 billion, accounting for nearly 18% of the world's population. A large proportion of adults are in the under-35 category, with increasing internet access and mobile phone usage rates. This youthful demographic is a significant driver for the current sports betting market and growing interest in online gaming and gambling.

Increased internet access and mobile penetration are helping to shift people's perceptions of gambling. Statista projects that the market will reach US$2.36 billion by 2028. The online sports betting segment alone is expected to hit US$0.86 billion in 2024. The average revenue per user is estimated to be 7.1 million by 2028

In 2023, mobile devices accounted for about 75% of African web traffic, showing the shift from traditional land-based betting to online platforms. The number of internet users in Africa has consistently grown, from 100 million in 2010 to 602 million in 2022, with projections of reaching 892 million by 2028. Mobile users are predicted to rise from 272 million in 2019 to approximately 475 million by 2025. 5G coverage is steadily growing, increasing the availability of continent-wide online access. The online sports betting market, in particular, is anticipated to show substantial growth over the next decade.

African Sports Betting Markets 

Operators should consider a few stand-out markets of the 54 nations comprising the eclectic and diverse continent before launching their new iGaming business. This guide provides a brief overview of the regulatory profile of African countries, though it is subject to change. 

South Africa

South Africa stands as the largest gambling market in Africa, contributing approximately 50% of the region's total gambling revenue. With a population of over 60 million, 72.3% of whom are internet users, South Africa presents a promising market for online sports betting. The National Gambling Board and provincial bodies regulate the industry, ensuring only licensed operators can offer services. Popular sports for betting include football, cricket, rugby, basketball, and horse racing.


Nigeria, with a population of around 230 million, is another major player in Africa's sports betting scene. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) regulates the market and has legalised sports betting since 2005. Internet penetration is 55.2%, and mobile devices generate 85% of web traffic. Football dominates the betting landscape, supported by low minimum stakes and the preference for high odds.


Kenya is notable for its well-established sports betting market. The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) oversees the growing industry. With a youthful population and expanding mobile connectivity, Kenya's market looks set for a promising future. Football, athletics, rugby, boxing, and cricket are the most popular sports for betting.


The Ghana Gaming Commission, established under the 2006 Gaming Act, regulates the Ghanaian sports betting market. The market has grown substantially, with a population of over 34 million and 68.2% internet penetration. Football, basketball, tennis, boxing, and ice hockey are popular sports for betting. Over 30 licensed sportsbooks operate in the country, contributing to its expanding market.


Ethiopia, with a population of over 128 million, is a largely untapped market due to low internet penetration. However, recent advancements, such as the expansion of telecommunications and the availability of 5G networks, mean potential growth is a possibility. The Ethiopian National Lottery Administration regulates the market.


Tanzania's iGaming market, regulated by the Gaming Board of Tanzania, has experienced notable growth, driven primarily by mobile sports betting and a growing interest in iGaming. Rising numbers of operators are entering the market, facilitated by mobile payment services, allowing Tanzanians to enjoy secure and convenient online gambling. 

Which Verticals?

Sports Betting

Sports betting is undoubtedly the most popular iGaming option in Africa, with football (soccer) leading the way. With a solid historic presence across almost all international sporting events, Africans have a reputation for sporting prowess as athletes and passion as fans and spectators. Aside from football, other popular sports include basketball, cricket, rugby, and athletics. Mobile sports betting is particularly dominant, supported by high mobile phone penetration and the convenience of mobile money services. Most operators looking to break into Africa will opt for a sportsbook.


Casino gaming is gaining traction across the continent, though regulations vary widely from country to country. While traditional online casino games face regulatory challenges in certain jurisdictions, some operators provide number-style draw games and virtual slots. These games cater to the growing demand for simple, quick-play options. As an operator, your ability to provide online casino options to your players will depend entirely on your chosen market and licence – research local regulations and laws before embarking on an online casino business.


Lotteries are widely popular across Africa due to their affordability and simplicity. Countries like Nigeria and Ghana have well-established lottery systems, with national and international lotteries attracting significant participation. The appeal lies in the potential for large payouts from small stakes. Lotteries often appeal to a broader audience, such as women and those over 35. 

Fantasy Sports & Free-to-Play (F2P)

Fantasy sports and F2P games are increasingly popular, particularly among younger demographics. These games offer an engaging mix of strategy and competition. Football is the dominant fantasy sport, with players creating virtual teams based on real-life athletes and competing for prizes.  Fantasy games can be either F2P or played with money. Operators should consider the benefits of providing F2P fantasy; if offered responsibly they increase acquisition, engagement, and retention and provide lucrative opportunities for cross-selling marketing potential. However, not all markets allow free-to-play games, so check local legislation carefully.


Esports is a rapidly growing vertical driven by a young population that enjoys PC, mobile, and console gaming as a social event and recreation activity. Esports betting is also rising, providing new opportunities for operators to engage with this community and attract new users. Showcasing tournaments offer multiple chances for specialised betting, social engagement, and more. Again, esports are not available in all markets.

Poker & Live Casino

Poker and live casino games are emerging trends in Africa. Although not widely available, live casino games, including blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, offer an immersive experience, attracting players seeking the thrill of real-time interaction.

The Necessity of Omnichannel Platforms for iGaming Operators in Africa

iGaming operators must adopt omnichannel platforms that combine retail, mobile, and online gambling to meet the diverse needs of the African market. With Africa's younger adult population (aged 19 – 35 years) increasing and mobile phone usage driving three-quarters of web traffic, an integrated approach is essential for success. Africa has a long history of in-person betting, with many people still preferring to make a social occasion of visiting a retailer to lay down a bet. By not offering a versatile omnichannel solution, operators automatically cut out potential players and profit. While younger players often opt to bet online, varied coverage means a versatile solution to catch more potential users than online or mobile alone. Omnichannel platforms enable operators to offer a seamless gambling experience across different devices and locations, enhancing user engagement and retention. These platforms cater to diverse consumer preferences and regulatory requirements, ensuring operators can provide tailored services while maintaining compliance. Using omnichannel solutions, operators can maximise market penetration, streamline operations, and forge long-term growth in Africa’s iGaming sector.

Essentials for Expanding into Africa for Operators

Responsible Gaming, Legal & Compliance

Expanding into Africa's sports betting market requires a strategic approach, considering each country's unique regulatory environment and market dynamics. Each African country has distinct regulatory frameworks. Operators must navigate these regulations carefully, ensuring compliance with local laws and securing the necessary licences. In addition to rules and regulations, operators must consider the full range of financial costs, including acquiring a licence and taxation. A stringent and robust legal and compliance team must be part of any operator’s practices. Promoting responsible gaming is vital; operators are responsible for ensuring the safety of vulnerable people, especially children. Operators should invest in reputable responsible gaming practices and initiatives to create a socially responsible betting environment.

Player Preferences

Understanding your demographic is crucial when considering local betting preferences. Football dominates the African sports betting scene, making pre-match betting more popular than in-play bets partly due to the popularity of retail betting. Adapting offerings to these preferences can enhance market penetration. Conduct market research and competitor analysis before launching any marketing strategy. Africa is a vast continent, and tastes and betting styles differ widely. 

Identifying preferred payment methods, such as mobile money services, is essential for reaching a broader audience. Each market will have different ways of doing things, but the more options offered, the better. 

Building effective customer support that understands local needs adds significant value. Do not underestimate localisation and personalisation. Include internal and external teams that understand the culture, people and country from an internal perspective. Many operators collaborate with teams on the ground in their chosen market. Tailoring products to local markets, including multilingual support and customisable tools, can enhance user engagement. Africa is home to many notable leaders in the industry, such as the respected women who are part of Women in Gaming, The African Chapter. Recruiting the knowledge and expertise of experts with a proven track record in the sector will help your business get off the ground running.

Choosing a Provider

Selecting the right iGaming provider is crucial for the success of a sportsbook or other online gambling business in Africa. Partnering with an established provider with a track record in Africa can offer a competitive edge. Reliable and accurate data, delivered quickly, is essential for managing risks and offering a superior betting experience. Comprehensive local and global events coverage is necessary to cater to diverse betting interests. State-of-the-art AI responsive solutions with optimised UX and UI design that combine retail, mobile, and online offerings will ensure your players remain engaged. By understanding local markets, tailoring business models, and partnering with reliable data providers, operators can successfully navigate the African iGaming world and tap into its vast potential.

About WA.Africa

WA.Africa by WA.Technology is a comprehensive omnichannel platform explicitly designed for the African iGaming market. With over 70 game providers, 250+ game studios enabled, 6800+ games, and 80+ payment methods supporting multiple currencies, WA.Africa offers tailored solutions to meet Africans' diverse needs. WA.Africa ensures seamless integration across retail, mobile, and online channels, empowering operators to thrive in Africa’s emerging iGaming domain. Get in touch to find out more.

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