While much recent analysis of igaming in African markets has focused on the barriers of poor payments and internet penetration, the main story has been of explosive sports betting-led growth and relatively open access.
But this era now looks over for foreign-owned operators in two of the continent’s largest markets, Nigeria and most notably Kenya. In the latter, licences have been suspended, mobile transactions blocked and directors deported, with an extra 20% tax on winnings mooted (read SportPesa’s response on p49).
While the government and press commentary echoes the UK, of uncontrolled growth resulting in social costs which necessitate such crackdowns, the operators challenging these through the courts say these are reactionary and illegal money grabs.
But with other countries watching, the grace period of low-tax and largely unfettered access is certain to be curtailed across the continent. You can engage in the discussions at our forthcoming ICE Africa event in Sandton, South Africa on 2-3 October.