What happens when you combine Africa, a diverse, populous, and culturally rich continent, with the gambling industry? To be honest, I’m getting a headache. Particularly in the areas of legislation and regulation, as well as player protection and responsible gambling promotion. But, before we jump to conclusions, let me present some facts.
To the best of our knowledge, gambling has been one of the most popular pastimes for a specific demographic of the population since 2300 BCE. It has grown significantly since that time. Despite some highs and lows throughout its history, it has evolved into a phenomenon seen all over the world. A global phenomenon that is enjoyed by an infinite number of participants; it is also worth billions of dollars in revenue to both companies and governments.
Given the recent trend of the gambling industry, it was only a matter of time before it sunk its teeth into Africa’s untapped market. And it was a huge success in doing so. Africans’ enthusiasm for their various sports makes the continent an ideal location for betting shops, both physical and virtual. Even though land-based casinos are scarce in Africa, there is a good chance that virtual versions of these establishments can be found on the continent’s residents’ mobile devices and desktop computers. As a result of ongoing technological development, phones and personal computers are becoming more widely available across the continent; as a result, these devices have emerged as the most popular platform for gambling.
Only seven of Africa’s fifty-two countries have completely banned gambling, so you’re unlikely to find it anywhere on the continent, from the most urban settings to the most remote villages. Gambling regulation is handled very differently in each of the remaining 45 countries, which are extremely diverse. Some are extremely stringent, while others are extremely lax, almost to the point of virtually no regulation at all. This is where the issue arises.
The owners of gambling establishments saw an opportunity to increase their profits by exploiting legal ambiguities. This has resulted in unethical, irresponsible, and even predatory practices in various countries’ gambling markets. Furthermore, it has enabled many businesses to avoid paying taxes and keep the revenue for themselves rather than contributing to the economies of the countries in which they do business. However, the scope of the problem is much broader. Gambling addiction is costing Africans their livelihoods and even their lives. Gambling addiction typically manifests itself in 0.5 percent to 2.6 percent of a country’s gambling population, according to global standards. A student at Kenyatta University committed suicide after losing all of the money he had put toward his education due to the outcome of a football game. Not to mention that up to 52 percent of the young population in Sub-Saharan Africa has attempted to find wealth through gambling, and that children as young as grade schoolers gamble in their spare time.
We contacted Casino.Guru to inquire about ways to improve the situation so that we could take appropriate action. Because of their background as an international website focusing on the online casino industry, they have a thorough understanding of global gambling regulation. They were eager to share their knowledge with us in order to contribute to the creation of a more secure gambling environment, particularly in terms of player protection and responsible gambling. These are the recommendations they made to us for improving gambling conditions in Africa, both for individual gamblers and for African governments.
“Present regulators should get things started by first reviewing the laws and procedures that govern the issuance of gambling licenses and subsequent renewals.” Those countries that do not currently have gambling laws should begin researching potential legislative solutions as soon as possible. They can ensure that only responsible and fair operators can succeed in their markets by establishing the necessary requirements. Something like this would be extremely beneficial to both players and governments. Furthermore, according to a Casino.Guru specialist, the taxes paid by these licensed operators should be used to create safety nets for gamblers who have a gambling problem.
“Gambling addiction is a serious health risk.” Problem gamblers experience withdrawal symptoms and symptoms that are strikingly similar to those experienced by alcoholics and drug addicts. This makes it very easy to revert to old habits. Statistics show that only a small percentage of people with gambling problems seek help, and as a result, very few people ever fully recover from their addiction. As a result, having access to helplines, peer support groups, and rehabilitation centers is critical.
“However, this should not be limited to the operators alone.” It is critical to educate the player base that is currently in use. Even though we work hard to educate users about the risks and potential for harm associated with gambling, there are only so many people we can reach through our website. Meanwhile, a national educational program has the potential to reach almost every gambler in the country and reduce the likelihood of them developing a gambling problem.
The concepts are not particularly difficult to grasp on their own. However, putting them into action is a completely different story. To make the dream of a more just and secure African gambling market a reality, we will need players, government officials, and regulators to work together to create enough forward movement to push these changes through.