By Irene Gaitirira
Published October 13, 2017
As the gambling frenzy grips Africa, the continent is set to hold a two-day business-to-business conference at the end of October 2017.
The inaugural free-to-attend business event dubbed Gaming Africa Conference that shall be held in the South African commercial capital, Johannesburg, October 24-25 is created as a networking opportunity for both the industry and its regulators to share knowledge and best practice.
Among the topics to be tackled are the economy, payment methods, social responsibility, anti-money laundering, investment, public relations, regional roundtables, casino marketing and sportsbook management.
“I anticipate a lot of interest from international visitors looking to get in on the action in a jurisdiction that is pretty hot at the moment,” says Roy Bannister who specialises in gaming issues in Africa. “One only needs to look at the trade press to see announcements of deals being done in Africa, new developments and advances in sports betting, payment technologies and mobile growth that is fuelling a lot of excitement about the continent. There is also interest from numerous African regulators wanting to understand how to more effectively regulate their industries, as well as manufacturers looking to place the latest gaming technology on the continent and enable operators to run profitable gaming ventures. Clarion will bring a professionally run gaming event to the African continent, that will draw upon its international expertise and networking capabilities and allow a market crying out for a world class gathering to finally be able to convene on the African continent and, in the process, take the gaming industry to greater heights.”
Curtis Roach, Content Lead for Gaming Africa says, “It’s fantastic to be working on Gaming Africa as it brings a long-overdue event to arguably the most important and exciting region in the world for the future of gaming. My remit is to produce a forum that inspires, generates active discussion and provides invaluable ideas for delegates to take back to their organisations. Training plays a vital role in raising standards and creating a professional and sustainable industry. To satisfy this, we will be bringing the highly acclaimed ‘Totally Gaming Academy’ master classes to Gaming Africa. Globally recognised experts Arjan Korstjens and Lee Richardson will be flying in to guide delegates through their specialist courses: Casino Marketing Academy, and Sportsbook Management Academy. These are being provided by Clarion Gaming on an entirely complimentary basis – a saving of ZAR15000.”
According to Angola Cables whose Angonix Internet Exchange Point (IXP) serves i3D.net hosting provider that specialises in online gaming, Asia, Middle East and Africa is a fast-growing region for online gaming with year-on-year revenue growth of more than 25%. With more than 336 million gamers and an online population of over 585 million, the region is expected to see revenues of about US$4 Billion in 2017.
Though only three African countries are in the top-60 countries for online gaming revenues, Angola Cables says these rankings are expected to improve as infrastructure continues to improve across the continent.
South Africa is ranked number one on the continent (55th globally) with revenues of US$120 Million in 2017, followed by Algeria (ranked 57th globally) with revenues of US$103 Million and Morocco (ranked 59th globally) and revenues of US$84 million.
Angola Cables estimates that global revenues in the games market – including Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games that support thousands of players at a time playing over the Internet – will total $109 billion, a growth of 56% over the past five years in 2017.
“Accounting for the majority of the online gaming market, MMOs are expected to have a value of US$27 Billion by 2025,” the company says.”Whether on smartphones, PCs or consoles, the growth of the global online gaming market is expected to consistently be above 10% until 2023 with the availability of better gaming infrastructure as one of the primary drivers propelling the growth prospects of this market.”
Edgar Agaba, CEO of Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board Uganda; Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director General of National Lottery Commission of Nigeria; James Mbalwe, Director General of Gaming Board of Tanzania; and Jean Claude Mushmire, Head of the Services Industry Development Policy in Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry are among the experts lined up to speak at Gaming Africa whose organisers say is a response to ‘requests from major industry players for a quality business-to-business event dedicated to the specific gaming needs of the continent’.
Beyond Africa, Angola Cables says in a media statement, Latin America will be the second fastest growing region in 2017, with a year-on year growth rate of +13.9%. The region’s 205.7 million gamers will spend a total of $4.4 billion this year, making up 4.1% of global revenues. The mobile segment is the largest revenue shareholder, up 34.6% year on year. This impressive growth is set to continue as revenues for smartphones and tablets increase toward 2020, driven by rapid growth of the mobile segment and increasing internet penetration. Over 80% of all LATAM gaming revenues are generated by the top five countries in the region, with Mexico taking the first spot with $1.4 billion in revenue and Brazil in second place with revenues of $1.3 billion.
Meanwhile AfroMillionsLotto, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL)’s new lotto, has gone live, allowing people to buy their online tickets for the first big jackpot draw on October 18, 2017.
The AfroMillionsLotto twice-weekly draw will be the largest jackpot on offer anywhere in Africa.