South Africa Sports Betting: A Story of Rapid growth
We’ve seen a lot during our time operating in South Africa sports betting. As operators in South Africa for a number of years (at Sunbet, now part of Sun International and formerly known as Voltbet), my South African team here at Chalkline Sports is excited to see the market grow and evolve.
The South African market presents a unique opportunity: strong growth in the past five years, a strong outlook, solid retail metrics and of, course, an increasingly mobile market.
Top 5 Trends in South Africa Sports Betting
1. South African sports betting continues to grow at nearly 50% YOY.
From R478M in 2011 to R2,403M in 2015, South Africa sports betting has grown rapidly in both retail and online.
2. South Africa sports betting has room to grow as a percentage of total gaming revenue.
Sports betting is growing as a percentage of gross gaming revenue, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers. South Africa sits squarely between the the United Kingdom–a mature gaming market–and the United States–an emerging regulated gaming market.
3. South Africa retail sports betting continues to grow alongside mobile.
Demand for retail sports betting pushed the number of outlets up nearly 25% from 2013 to 2015, according to the National Gambling Board of South Africa.
4. Online South Africa sports betting is already highly mobile and projected to continue to shift further to phones.
Seven out of 10 online bets in South Africa are placed on a mobile device. And that number continues to grow, based on our conversations with operators. Because more than 37% of South Africans have smartphones (2016), the opportunities for mobile growth are greater than any other country in Africa.
5. South Africa sports betting is projected to continue solid growth of +15% until 2020.
We don’t see it slowing down anytime soon, as operators continue to innovate in the space.
Insights and Take-aways for South African Operators
- Because many punters wager in shops AND via mobile, developing an Online-to-Offline (O2O) strategy is a key next step for sports betting operators.
- Sports books and casino operators must execute a product strategy (with help from internal development and external software providers) that reflects the Mobile-First nature of customer habits.
- Measure what matters. Operators must put metrics in place that measure their ability to engage customers via retail and mobile.
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