While the future apex of African gaming may well be with the mega-markets of Nigeria and South Africa – Eastern states have to date far outshone them in terms of growth.
Why? According to Alessandro Pizzolotto, CEO, of STM Gaming, the reason is to be found in the region’s plethora of payment channels available to players: most notably those that require basic technologies.
“East Africa is undoubtedly at the forefront of the entire continent when it comes to payment gateways, especially mobile money. It is a known fact that from a financial inclusion perspective Africa is still lagging behind more established markets, such as Europe,” says Pizzolotto.
“Yet when it comes to East Africa, the region – with countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda – is a global leader in regards to the highest per capita registered and active mobile money accounts, and volume of mobile money. The region has the fastest growth in mobile money accounts and in each country the number of mobile money accounts surpassed the number of bank accounts.”
The mobile money phenomenon has been untrammelled since 2007 with Vodafone’s launch of M-Pesa in Kenya. Today 73 percent of over 15s have a mobile money account. In Nigeria, conversely, that figure is just 5.6 percent.
“This obviously has a very strong impact on the iGaming industry,” he added. “Nonetheless this situation is set to change in the short to medium term, especially with the continuous expansion of companies such as MTN Africa and Airtel Africa across the whole continent.”