Mobile money has revolutionised the way sub-Saharan businesses and how its people trade. It’s not only about doing business it has also helped increase financial inclusion of the previously unbanked African masses.
Banks have been forced to adopt agency banking in order to compete favourably with mobile money transactions and also tap into the mobile money craze.
We couldn’t have imagined how this Safaricom invention could have changed Africa. One of the biggest growth sectors in Africa is the Online sports betting Business which is vastly spreading on the African continent.
With the increase in internet penetration in Africa, a host of African nations such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda have seen a rise in online sports betting.
The development of sports betting in Africa can be accredited to greater than before internet penetration in the continent over the years and also the implementation of mobile-friendly platforms by betting firms which have allowed them to access a wider market.
One circumstance which also has made Africa a hothouse for sports betting companies is the present weak laws regulating the industry.
Uganda has 35 online sportsbook sites according to GamingZion. All the 35 betting firms have online platforms were bets can be placed.
These same firms have also adopted the mobile-friendly platforms in order to grow their revenue stream. The National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board revealed that Ugandans are spending an estimated Shs 150bn (Usd 407500) annually on gambling.
The gambling industry has established itself as a prominent social and economic force with significant impact on job creation and revenue generation.
According to a report, most the people in Africa below aged 35 years have engaged in Gambling.
This can be attributed this age bracket being internet savvy yet highly unemployed. With the ability to place bets online and being able to pay the betting price using mobile money transactions.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the youngest population in the world aged between 17 to 35 years. This population is also unemployed.
Some of these young people have resorted to online betting in search of a huge payday of sorts. This, in turn, has fueled a gambling problem that is eating away the youth of sub-Saharan Africa.
Most people you find involved in betting is your favourite Bodaboda guy at the stage, the matatu driver, the askari at the apartment where you live, the pump attendants or even the university students at their hostels.
As far as the effect of gambling on socio-economic inequality is concerned, a number of studies that have examined the issue have found that gambling is largely economically regressive.
This implies that the poorer people spend disproportionately more income on gambling activities than those with higher incomes.
In their review of gambling studies from around the world, found that of the seven studies that analysed the regressivity of gambling, six concluded that gambling is regressive according to a study carried out by The Economic policy Research Centre in Uganda.
Online Betting firms have leveraged technology to create jobs, revenue and also widen the tax bases in the countries where they operate.
However over, the technology has fueled an addiction among young sub-Saharan Africans whose impact we are yet to find out. To shade more light on this, all online betting firms do not carry out due diligence to find out if the people who sign up are actually above 25 years of age.
With no doubt, mobile money invention has been a revelation, but with it, we have seen the rise of online Betting and Gambling in Africa. With this technology, gambling addictions are able to take over the lives of so many youths in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This story originally appeared on Quest Africa under headline: Mobile Money and Technology fueling the rise of the destructive online betting in Sub-Saharan Africa