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Sports betting in Africa has exploded in the last 10 years. In recognition of this growth, more foreign-based online bookmakers are making an entrance into the industry. The fastest-growing markets in the industry are in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. The overall gambling market inclusive of sports betting in these three countries was valued at $37 billion in 2018.
In this article, we explore the sports betting markets in Africa, namely Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. We also conducted a bookmakers review to determine the best online bookmakers in this country. These bookies were chosen based on several factors; that is, the user experience, the promotions they offer and the features customers can depend on, customer service, available betting options and customer opinions and transparency.
In NigeriaNairabet was the first online sports booking platform in Nigeria. It is estimated that the daily expenditure on sports betting tops NGN 2 billion ($5.5 million). Betting in Nigeria is popular amongst those aged 18 to 40, with over 60 million people within this cohort who place bets on sporting events.
Based on our tests and research, the top four betting sites in Nigeria are Bet9ja, Melbet, 1xBet and Betway, in no particular order. Bet9ja, a sports betting website, is the third most-visited website in Nigeria with over 66 million monthly visits, 94.29% of which comes from within Nigeria. On the other hand, 1xbet enjoys over 3 million visits per month.
Of the four bookies, Bet9ja, 1xBet and Betway all offer a welcome bonus equivalent to a customer’s first deposit. For Bet9ja this can be up to NGN 100,000, for 1xBet sports betting up to NGN 50,000 (and additional NGN 50,000 for 1xGames), while for Betway it can be up to NGN 100,000. Melbet, however, offers a 200% welcome bonus up to NGN 130,00 by using out EXCLUSIVE bonus code ml_110049. And All these bookies offer local payment methods such as Paystack, Quickteller and direct bank transfers, except for Cloudbet, which is a strictly crypto-based bookie.
Overall, betting in Nigeria has been growing in leaps and bounds, and it is expected that this will continue to grow over the coming years as internet penetration continues to rise and mobile banking reaches more Nigerians.
In KenyaAs of 2015, the Kenyan sports betting market was worth $20 million or roughly over 2 billion Kenyan Shillings (KES). It is expected that the industry will grow rapidly to reach $50 million by 2020. The Kenyan sports betting market is one of the top three markets on the continent. In fact, sports betting has the largest market share of the Kenyan gambling industry. To gauge the popularity of sports betting in the country, you need look no further than the fact that 11 of the top 20 searches on Google in Kenya were related to betting in Kenya.
From our analysis, we have selected 1xbet, 22bet and Betway as the top betting sites in Kenya. Betway Kenya enjoys over 1.22 million visits per month, 97.78% of which comes from within Kenya. 1xbet and 22bet all offer new customers a welcome bonus that is equal to 100% of their first deposit into their account. The bonus can be up to 10,000 KES for 1xbet, 15,000 KES for 22bet. Betway, alternatively, offers 50% of a customer’s first deposit as a welcome bonus up to 5,000 KES.
Across these sports betting platforms, the most popular and preferred withdrawal and deposit methods are the mobile wallets such as M-Pesa and Airtel Mobile Pay. In conclusion, the industry for betting in Kenya is booming and attracting major betting brands.
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In GhanaBuoyed by a growing number of expats, a stable currency and a good economy, the Ghanaian sports betting industry is one of the fastest-growing in Africa. The average bookie makes about $3.5 million per month in gross gambling revenue. Sports betting websites in Ghana also revel in one of the most liberal gaming taxes on the continent, which is pegged at 17.5% of gross revenue.
If you want to engage in betting in Ghana, then the best websites to check out include 22bet, Betway, 1xBet and OdiBets. 22bet’s welcome bonus is 100% of the user’s first deposit. 22bet’s welcome bonus can be up to approximately 750 cedis, 1xbet’s welcome bonus can be up to 500 cedis, while Betway fixes its welcome bonus at 50% of the first deposit up to 200 cedis. OdiBet on the other hand provides it’s new customers a Free Bet worth GHS 3.
Mobile wallets are the most popular form of payment for in Ghana. Examples of popular mobile wallets include Airtel Pay, Tele2, Siru Mobile, Raycash and M-Pesa. Overall, betting in Ghana still has a lot of room for growth. However, with betting sites such as Betway, Betfair, 1xbet and 22bet, the industry is on the right path.
In summary, the African sports betting market has seen unprecedented growth in the last 10 years. With an expected growth in the number of people with mobile wallets and access to the internet, the industry is still in its nascent stage. Our bookmaker review also highlighted the top betting sites across key sports betting markets in Africa, particularly Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. The next few years should be interesting ones for these countries. You can use our betting tips and football prediction for tomorrow to make the most of a booming industry.