The growth potential of the casino gaming market in South Africa | South Africa Today - Media

Wednesday 15th April 2020

The South African gaming market is becoming quite attractive for iGaming entrepreneurs worldwide. During the pastime, we have witnessed a trend of online gaming expansion and an immersive growth rate, but the question is why?

As European markets become regulated and particularly strict for a different manner, the focus shifts to the grey areas. By grey area, we don't mean a country or a place in which gaming is not allowed, but more of a market that hasn't set up rules and regulations for this industry. One of them that made it on top of the list of lucrative neutral areas is South Africa. If we look at the casino brands listed on the South African market, we can notice that most of them are representative and established names in markets like the UK, Scandinavia and DACH territories.

The current state of the market

Although online casino games are not regulated in South Africa, there are online casino providers which have been licenced to obtain the African market. This market is not very popular in this part of the country, but if legalised would surely change the way this industry is observed. This would also make a big difference in the player's perspective since their interest in online casino games significantly increased. Online poker, blackjack, and differently themed online slots like this SlotsWise selection of online slots games are changing the gameplay scene. At the same time, efforts have been made to further regulate online gaming with The National Gambling Amendment Act. There are high hopes that this will happen soon, as evaluations prove that the country can largely benefit from the adoption of regulatory acts.

The market is also becoming more competitive with the continued roll-out of LPMs, electronic bingo terminals and legal bookmaking. Despite being limited to online gaming activities, they are legally allowed to take part in sports betting activities that have been legal since 1996. Horse race betting is especially popular among the players and being legal has made it a favourite means of wagering money.

The European Regulation Model

Rules and gaming regulations have been in the spotlight in most European markets over recent years. For example, regulations in the UK have altered their importance in recent years. The introduction of the UKGC and its devoted work throughout this period has given a great example of how this industry can be regulated and put in order, having in mind the sensitive and delicate nature of the business. Every operator has to be regulated and later approved by the UKGC if they want to offer their games to customers. Many European countries have followed this model and reported significant improvement in profits and industry handling. However, the UK recently gets extra attention due to the changes that are expected as a result of Brexit. This decision has had a great effect on iGaming already, with many Gibraltar based companies shifting to Malta due to the uncertainty around laws after Brexit.

iGaming growth in South Africa

Back in 2014, experts have been talking about a predicted sharp rise in the profits from iGaming. Those predictions have sure come to fruition as this fairly regulated market caught the attention of gaming operators. The progression in terms of technology, internet and smartphone accessibility is high here, which is the first necessity for a prosperous iGaming hub.

However, qualities go far further than just having the right technology in place. There are attempts for regulating the iGaming market in Africa, but any regulations seem to be way off at this point. Even when a proposed regulation comes in its early stages, it is unlikely to be anywhere strict as that found in European markets. South Africa also has a good track history when it comes to retail. This has started to gain attention in the online sphere and it will likely make a move to the iGaming world. Many betting sectors were speaking of the potential that the South African market had, not only for the country but also for the continent in the long run. The implementation of the methods remains to be seen. Until then, we expect that many worldwide gaming providers will shift their focus to the South African market and make significant and revolutionary changes.

Future predictions

It is very unclear where the casino gaming industry is going right now, but if we take into account all of the research, it is possible to try and predict some future trends. Countries work hard to make sure the online gaming market becomes a reality, with all rules and regulations coming into place. The main challenge here is that these regulations are limiting the number of available legal operations in the country. Casino industries in the world are staying focused on trying to make sure that the right gaming options are available to all consumers. Only time will tell what the future holds for this market, but right now it looks that things are moving in the right direction.

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