Betting has become a worldwide phenomenon and it has been extremely popular in Africa for several years. Online sports betting was officially legalized in 1996 for African citizens and it has been on the rise ever since.

Africans are massive sports lovers and football is the biggest sport in the continent, which gives the betting industry impetus to grow alongside the sports industry.

The African market has grown to around $40 billion! A major contributor to this ever-growing and developing is Africa’s #1 football betting website, SportyBet (

Africans are very well versed with sports and a lot of them have benefitted from the legalization of the sports betting market as it has given them an additional source of income. Given the huge popularity of betting in Africa, a lot of the European and American sports operators are trying to enter the already competitive African sports betting space. Here are some of the major reasons for the rise of sports betting in Africa.

Easy Laws Around Sports Betting

Most African countries have relatively lenient laws around sports betting, which has made it much easier for betting and led to an increase in users of sports betting platforms. Since there are benefits of taxes, licensing authorities have granted licenses to betting sites. Betting has been gaining popularity more than ever and the authorities are trying to leverage this to the fullest to boost economic growth. Betting in Africa has also become increasingly popular because of the solid regulations in place as bettors feel secure given there is safe betting in place as licensing is mandated for companies with online betting websites.

With the advent of technology and the craze for smartphones, sports betting mobile applications has made it ever so convenient for people to place bets on the go. Sports betting firms have tied up with companies like M-Pesa and Orange Money to assist account setups on mobile devices.

(Photo:  ProSymbols, US , CC BY 3.0)

Tablets are also a very popularly used device for sports betting in the region. SportyBet is one such application that has garnered a huge user base for its user-friendly interface. The application provides live streaming for sports along with live scores, live odds, relevant news, and a chat platform. The application is available for all users in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia.

The Success of Africans Sportspersons Around the World

Another major driving factor for the rise in Africa’s sports betting market is the success of African athletes and other sports players. Seeing the success of football personalities like Victor Osimhen, Odion Ighalo, Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Asamoah Gyan, Sadio Mane, and the likes, Africans are more motivated in following the sports and leagues in which these players are involved. Africans are deeply passionate fans and are willing to back their stars.

Mo Salah - Cairo - Egypt
Mo Salah artwork in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: Ibrahim.ID , CC BY-SA 4.0)

Nwankwo Kanu and Michael Essien, the Nigerian and Ghanain legends, respectively have played a major role in the increase in popularity of Premier League football. They not only played at the highest level but also were integral members of their teams in England’s top tier of football.

The Rise in Population and Advancement of Technology

Most of Africa’s youth between the ages of 18-35 years have engaged in sports betting. There are over 200 million Africans aged between 18-24 years! Given Africa’s rising population and the youth being tech-savvy, the sports betting market will continue to thrive. SportyBet has a strict policy it follows where people only 18 years of age or above can register and play on their platform.

Source of Income with Low Risk

The high returns for the low “risk” in sports betting are too good to resist for users of such platforms. It has become a major source of income for a lot of young Africans. Africans bet on not only football. Sports like basketball and tennis are also popular. Kenyans love their cricket and keenly follow the sport. With the advent of e-gaming, virtual betting has become the next big thing in not only Europe and the USA but also in India and Africa. SportyBet is not only Africa’s #1 football betting application, it is one of those betting platforms that is popular for its e-games like Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and League of Legends.

Free Streaming and Promotions

Sports betting has become massively popular in Africa thanks to the feature of free streaming of live games and SportyBet provides free streaming to its members. The application provides sports streaming with zero ads and zero cost to its registered users. Sports streaming is hugely beneficial for those who may not have subscriptions or access to specific channels or sports in their regions.

Another benefit that members have taken a liking too are the promotions offered for online betting. Bets placed are not taxable so any perks over and above that are appreciated by users. Due to the increase in competition in the sports betting market in Africa, competitors are trying to outdo each other by offering unique selling points in different ways. All sports websites have a “refer a friend” promotion that helps members earn rewards. SportyBet has one such unique feature known as “Match of the Day”, which gives a boost to the live odds and the best possible odds, for the same price.

Football - Street - Zambia kids
A group of children playing football in the streets of Zambia (Photo: Francis ackson soko, CC BY-SA 4.0)


Football, being the biggest in the world and Africa’s most-followed sport, the craze for the game will never die. Seeing the recent success of Africans at the highest level in football has led to an increase in viewership in the region. This has directly been a factor that has helped the growth of the sports betting industry. With this rapid growth in Africa’s sports betting market and the rise in popularity in e-gaming, the online betting market is here to stay.