South Africans have developed a taste for online gambling. In this rapidly growing market, we are seeing plenty of upward movement, spurred on by an influx of online gambling options. Let’s take a look at the current state of the industry and what it means for the country
Online Gambling in SA: Who, Where, When and How?
The National Gambling Board published its figures surrounding gambling for the financial year 2022-2023:
- Gambling bets for the year totaled R815.1 billion, which was a year-on-year increase of just over 45%
- Total revenues from gambling for the year stood at R47.2 billion, which was up 34% over the last year
- Betting made up 50% of revenues, followed by casinos at 37%
- Taxes gained from betting stood at R4.1 billion, an increase of 29% over the previous year
- Casinos made up 43% of the tax revenues, as compared to betting at 40%
According to TGM Research, in the areas of sports betting:
- Almost half of all South Africans are reported to have bet on sports within the past 12 months
- Around a quarter of those who bet on sports will bet multiple times per week
- Around 90% of those people betting on sports will do this by accessing apps and websites, rather than placing bets in person
The Dangers of Sports Betting on At-Risk Players
We spoke to Lori Patterson, online gambling expert at NoDepositBonus.guide, who had a rather interesting take on this:
‘When one looks at South Africans’ transactional behaviors when gambling the disparate incomes are quite evident. Typically, sports betting is the most popular and attracts individuals veering towards a lower ‘Living Standards Measure’, or LSM. This is a marketing research tool used in South Africa, and classifies the standard of living and vis-à-vis individuals’ disposable income.
Of course, this shouldn’t stop here, and evaluating bettors’ gambling habits equips sportsbooks and operators offering sports wagering services to highlight punters’ activity and pinpoint instances of over-betting. Implementing affordability checks is crucial both to bettors and betting companies. This is because it significantly decreases the number of those falling into debt, and in turn, lightens the burden on the South African economy associated with increasing rates of consumer debt.’
How Does This Stack Up to The Economy?
South Africa’s economy is climbing slowly, after dips in prior years. However, the economy isn’t doing as well as was expected by international investors. There has been an exodus of sorts, as non-residents divest stocks and bonds, after the market failed to impress on the promise that it once showed.
What About Online Gambling Growth?
Online gambling uptake around the world has skyrocketed and South Africa is no outlier in this trend. There are a few reasons that online gambling is now becoming a huge industry worldwide.
More Countries Are Legislating Around Online Gambling
In the past, the majority of countries had no laws surrounding online gambling. In many countries, the laws surrounding internet usage in general are not very advanced. Introducing new laws in online gambling, even when in-person gambling is legal, can be a tricky task. However, thanks to some leaders in the space, namely the UK and now the USA, countries have strict guidelines they can also adopt by cherry-picking the best parts of other countries’ laws.
The way that we consume content, work, and game, has changed so much, just even over the past ten years. Thanks to leaps and bounds in tech innovation during this time, we now have access to advanced online gaming at any time, in an instant. Providers are able to get impressive new games into our hands and imprinted in our minds with a clever marketing campaign.
Smartphone Adoption in Emerging Economies
While the West has had an iPhone in their palms from the beginning, emerging economies are only just now seeing smartphone usage becoming pervasive. What this means for online gambling houses is that they now have whole new markets coming online and more people to reach. Smartphone habits vary from country to country, and you’ll see that gaming, and indeed gambling, is extremely prevalent as a daily activity for many people in these emerging economies.
A Brighter Future
With South Africa’s future looking bright, once it gets through a number of short term crises, including supply chain problems, macroeconomics, scarce resourcing, access to healthcare, and public institutional levels, society as a whole will benefit. While gambling operators and organizations within the country need to put in place blocks to help stop people in financial distress from gambling, we are likely to see fewer and fewer people in financial distress over the next few years and decades. While online gambling looks like it’s set to grow forever, there will eventually be a ceiling once everyone has tried and knows the playing field.