Mobile money services growth has created opportunities for online casinos regarding the sales of services and products. Many African countries are experiencing growth in sports betting due to the penetration of the internet. Even in remote areas consumers have access. This includes Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Tanzania. The bets on national, local and European soccer leagues is now a multimillion dollar industry. Mobile phones are the preferred choice for gambling.
The gambling industry in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya is estimated at $37 billion United States dollars. Mobile users in Kenya accounted for $2 million in sports betting in 2017. In 2014 mobile phone platforms became the key to the improvement of financial inclusion in Africa. This has become an action point since most adult Africans remain unbanked. The supporters of sports betting on mobiles in Africa believe it has helped the country. They list the gambling benefits as tax revenues for the government, an increase in employment opportunities, general economic growth and easier money for those in a low income bracket.
The devastating effect on half the participants who are under age 35 is not mentioned. The population in Africa is the youngest on the planet. More than 420 million Africans are 15 to 35 years of age. Roughly 35 percent of the young people in Africa are unemployed. Only one of sixteen are gainfully employed. Sports betting is becoming a major craze for the underemployed and unemployed youths. The youth are using gambling to try to escape poverty since $1 United States dollar can bring a win of $500.
Nearly $5 million United States dollars are bet on sports betting by sixty million Nigerians age 18 to 40. Most are underemployed, unemployed or earning $8.40 United States dollars per day. One of the biggest dangers is many of the youths with low earnings are borrowing the money to make the bets. This means they are perpetually in debt. Forty percent of the people living in Africa are living on $1.90 United States dollars a day. Sports betting using mobile platforms has crushing implications. The continent has developed an intolerable addiction. This raises concerns this betting has turned into a gambling disorder.
The trigger for the economic growth of America was the notion business and individuals should be able to access financial institutions, credit unions and banks. This two decade old inclusion was believed the key for the economic growth of Africa. Many low income individuals living in countries affected by conflict with fragile economies have gained access to financial services through the technology of cell phones. The young populations gained the ability to have a mobile phone leading to growing money services in countries where most people have no bank penetration.
The effect on the economy of the African continent has been mostly positive. The problem is there have also been undesirable effects on the poor. They risk being ignored due to the multilateral organizations, central banks and governments backing financial inclusion.