Africa: Engaging Casual World Cup Punters Through FreeToPlay Games

The World Cup offers African sportsbook operators the chance to acquire and retain casual bettors. Head of iGaming, Jason Foster, explains how:

While every global sporting event offers great opportunity to attract new players, Africa this summer is particularly enticing.

Looking back at the last World Cup in 2014, the event led to 63% jump in gross gaming revenue (GGR) across May to June (compared to 2013). Although South Africa is absent from the tournament again, Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, and Egypt will be representing Africa.

Each African representative has fans all over the African continent, many of which are potential casual bettors. But how can operators engage casual World Cup punters?

Mobile Engagement

First, it is important to understand the state of play in Africa when it comes to sports betting, which is growing rapidly across the continent.

Driving forces include increased smartphone penetration, improved awareness of sportsbook brands, increased mobile data availability and the ability to conveniently transact from a smartphone.

According to, the number of smartphone users in South Africa has doubled since the last World Cup in 2014.

umber of SA smartphone users 2014 to 2022

Number of smartphone users in South Africa from 2014 to 2022

It should therefore be no surprise that consultants at PwC estimate that South African GGR will grow 24% this year.

This could be a conservative estimate. Especially if savvy operators harness the following strategies to reconnect soccer fans with sports betting capabilities transformed since Brazil in 2014.

World Cup Tips for Operators

Seasoned operators know that sharp punters are vigilant bargain hunters. However, casual fans are less price-sensitive, so there’s an incentive to lock them in long before the tournament. Here are our top four World Cup customer acquistion tips for Operators:

1) Build and promote a simple World Cup 2018 landing page. This helps acquire new customers organically using SEO, or provide a destination for paid acquisition.

2) Lock in punters early with outright incentive campaigns. Based on their betting profiles, focus should be targeted on offering incentives for bettors to place early wagers on their favorite team. Nothing brings out homers more than international showdowns such as the World Cup.

cross promote casino and sports

3) For operators with a casino and a sportsbook, running a cross-promotion against the loyalty database will undoubtedly spur some inactive players to action.

4) Run F2P games for customer data capture in advance of the tournament.

Chalkline’s Role

We view free-to-play games as the biggest opportunity for African operators to build their databases. Simple, snack-size F2P games will associate your brand with the World Cup and create sustained engagement with new clients. Games can be sent direct to inactive customers via email and also pushed via social media.

World Cup Opening Match

BettorGames – World Cup Opening Match

In closing, the World Cup in Russia will provide African sportsbooks with a unique opportunity to excite existing customers, reconnect with inactives and find new recreational players. South Africa may not be competing, but African sports bettors and operators will have a lot riding on the outcomes.

Jason Foster is head of iGaming and African markets at Chalkline Sports, a marketing technology platform that powers customer acquisition and retention for regulated gaming. Jason has more than 20 years experience in sports betting operations and online sports betting technology, and has worked with sports betting operators around the world.

Want to Learn More? Connect with Jason, or find out how BettorGames powers operators globally.