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Africa having to confront rise in sports activities betting

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Gamblers and specialists say many punters see Africa’s rising sports activities betting trade as a supply of normal revenue, and a attainable path out of poverty.

However critics warn its rise is underpinned by widespread poverty, unemployment and poor or non-existent regulation.

Continent-wide knowledge on sports activities betting is just not available, although snapshots from totally different international locations present its rising reputation.

On-line gaming platforms have loved latest progress, pushed by widening adoption of cell funds and pandemic-era demand for digital leisure.

A lot of the betting focuses on soccer video games in Europe, whereas extra lately the World Cup has been the foremost draw.

A South African authorities survey from 2017, the latest on playing, discovered that sports activities betting grew 14% per 12 months from 2008 to 2016, even because the variety of South Africans who gambled fell from 57% to a 3rd of the nation’s grownup inhabitants.

Right this moment, on-line sports activities betting makes up 45% of the South African playing market, “a starkly totally different image to simply 10 years in the past when casinos held 80% of market share,” mentioned the Nationwide Playing Board.

Sibongile Simelane-Quntana, govt director of the South African Accountable Playing Basis, mentioned that her group has seen “important progress” in on-line sports activities betting within the aftermath of pandemic-related lockdowns.

Funding for her group, which comes from playing homes, “has elevated by 50% from the place it was earlier than the lockdown,” she mentioned.

African gamblers typically rely on winnings to fund each day wants.

Lagos-based sports activities psychologist Seun Ajidagba mentioned individuals see it as a approach to make “fast cash”.

At a betting store within the South African township of Soweto, Sfiso Mnguni advised the AP he has seen fellow punters faint below the stress.

“Folks collapse right here within the store and we by no means know if it is because of starvation or any situations,” Mnguni mentioned.

A Ugandan parliamentary committee earlier this 12 months steered banning day-time betting.

Neighboring Kenya has reported declines in playing since 2019, when the nation imposed taxes on all bets, win or lose, and revoked the licenses of a number of main playing corporations after accusing the nation’s largest sports activities betting platform of tax evasion.

A authorities survey discovered that respondents who noticed playing as a superb supply of revenue fell by half from 2019 to 2021, from 22.7% to 11.2%.