As a result of the ICE Africa and Big African Summit events, the gaming sector in Africa has been quite active lately. There were presentations by recognized industry specialists as well as discussions about the current condition of legal gaming on the continent as part of these events.
Africa is notoriously behind the times when it comes to gambling legislation, so there was a lot of interest in how gaming might be improved, both to make it safer and to bring in more money for the nations who hosted the conference. According to the conclusions obtained during these events, a significant amount of effort is still needed to be done in both the mobile and the online gaming industries.
Regulations in Effect
As things stand now, only around 20% of the African continent has legislation in place that regulates both online and mobile gaming activities. Because so many people in the gambling industry are migrating to the Internet, this is becoming an increasingly serious worry.
The ever-increasing prevalence of mobile devices in Africa is aiding to the expansion of iGaming, since they provide more opportunities to get over limits and prohibitions than previous generations.
Even though Internet service provider (ISP) locks are a prevalent method for many nations to block individuals from accessing websites, these systems are readily bypassed. Services such as virtual private networks (VPNs) are becoming more popular on this front, and not only for gambling-related reasons.
VPNs may be used to evade media limitations in a variety of situations that are increasingly prevalent. This is often true for entertainment businesses like as Netflix or Hulu, which may provide far larger libraries of films and television series in other nations than their home country. VPN servers have grown from their modest origins to become massive enterprises, and the fierce rivalry within the industry has driven them to become more user-friendly than ever.
This implies that people who are interested in online gambling, even when it is prohibited, will be able to swiftly find their way past any restrictions that may be in place. This is much more straightforward for mobile users: utilizing a VPN on a smartphone enables a sort of access that is difficult to curtail, and this has been a big driver in the growth of unregulated mobile gaming services.
Despite the seeming simplicity with which legal iGaming alternatives may be found, there is a genuine desire among players in discovering legal iGaming alternatives. As a matter of fact, legal platforms are simple to use and provide a plethora of benefits that are only made possible by adequate regulation. In addition to special Rand bonuses and free spins, many of the leading mobile casinos in South Africa also provide other incentives to players.
Unregulated Gambling Posees a Number of Problems
Unregulated gambling brings with it a slew of challenges that may create problems for everyone who is participating in the process. The most prevalent of these issues is that gaming is uncontrolled and hence unchecked when it is not regulated. As a result, systems are no longer required to be equitable, and people who have been duped are left with no effective redress.
This also has implications for the issue of internet casinos, with access being permitted in certain countries but not in others. While using a VPN may enable someone to participate in online casinos, it may also restrict them from withdrawing any winnings if a withdrawal mechanism is connected with an unregulated geographic area, as is the case with Bitcoin casinos.
The Road Ahead for Africa
On the problem of uncontrolled internet and mobile casinos, there was broad agreement among participants at the Africa ICE and the Big Africa Summit that action must be taken immediately. Despite the fact that this has been the case for physical casinos for years, delegates at both sessions agreed that actions must be taken to address the vastly different technical issues offered by the online gambling environment.
According to a 2016 research conducted by the National Gambling Board of South Africa, the direct economic advantage that may be realized as a result of regulation amounts to around R110 million per year. That’s on top of the millions of rands that might be saved each year in governmental resources that would otherwise be allocated to the hunting down and prosecution of illegal gambling operations.
As previously stated, smartphone users are expected to account for a large percentage of the iGaming revenue. While this industry has grown significantly since a few years ago, there is still much more growth to be had.
One of the primary causes for this is shown by a research conducted by Pew Research. Even in South Africa, which is considered to be one of the most technologically sophisticated African countries, a large proportion of the population continues to use just basic phones. Here, 51 percent of people own a smartphone, 40 percent own a basic phone, and 9 percent do not own any kind of telephone..
Due to the fact that mobile gambling requires the use of a smartphone, a plethora of opportunities will open up in the next years as the consumer base expands. When you combine this with reduced total data prices and improved connection, the industry in Africa as a whole is poised for explosive development.
The application of gambling regulations will be determined by the passage of time. As more and more nations gain the advantages of more regulation, it is likely that Africa will follow suit in the near future.
In several African nations, internet access has increased by more than 10,000 percent in the previous two decades, according to the International Telecommunications Union. Such figures, as well as the potential contribution they may make in the form of a regulated gaming tax, are just too large to be ignored for any length of time.