The 5th Annual Betting & iGaming Africa Summit (BiG Africa Supershow) was successful in bringing the online and offline gaming sectors together for two days of thought-provoking discussion. The two-day conference and exhibition took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Palace of Dreams, Emperor’s Palace, on 7 and 8 November.
The event explored new opportunities for growth in the gaming sector, new changes in legislation, cutting edge gaming technologies and so much more. Africa’s leading operators, service providers, legislators and regulators were all given a platform to share their expertise and engage with one another in a stimulating business environment.
The BiG Africa Celebrations began with back-to-back presentations from the Director of Gambling Law and Policy at the Department of Trade & Industry (dti), Mr. Nkoatse Mashamaite and the Shadow Minister of the dti, Mr. Dean Macpherson, about amendments that are currently being made to the National Gambling Act of South Africa.
The rest of day one gave attendees the opportunity to attend discussions and presentations from representatives of the following companies:
- Sun International
- Evolution Gaming
- South African Bookmakers Association
- Oulala Games
- Bravado Gaming
Africa is the land of opportunity; many of Europe’s biggest opportunities have yet to be explored on the African continent.
For example, Daily Fantasy Sports and E-sports are two increasingly popular activities in Europe and America. E-sports is a multi-billion-dollar sport with many millennials taking an active interest in professional gaming, and Daily Fantasy Sports provides players with a way of choosing dream teams and competing against other players for the prestige of being the best fantasy team manager.
The panel discussion on ethical growth of the industry was a lively debate. Mr. Peter Strasheim addressed how responsible gambling practices need to be more active in gambling operations and mentioned the self-incineration case of a problem gambler that took place in South Africa late last year. The discussion then led to legislators and operators debating how such control measures could be implemented in a manner that is sustainable to operators.
Match-fixing is a challenge for both sports teams and sports betting operators. Due to the human nature of all sporting activities, team members, referees and criminal organisations sometimes collaborate to guarantee a massive pay-out. Mr. Thierry Pujol, Director of Sport Integrity at FDJ (Française des Jeux) shared how he and his team identify fixed matches and catch match-fixers red handed. He then went on to note regions where these activities are the most prevalent and how sports betting operators can defend themselves against such threats
The discussion, Factors to Consider When Starting Your Operations in Africa, presented an opportunity for foreign investors to gain localised strategies for launching their products and services in the African market. Each of the panellists brought their own perspective to the topic and shared their advice for thriving in Africa’s dynamic business landscape. Dean Finder, COO of Betting World shared his turnkey strategies for land-based operations, Gail Petrie addressed some challenges investors may face in different regions and Felix Mukaxe discussed the licensing process in Mozambique.
Illegal gambling operations and money laundering are some of the biggest challenges that the African market faces. The Head of Compliance and Enforcement at the Limpopo Gambling Board, Mr. Philemon Masogo, noted that the illegal gambling market is worth billions of rands, based on the investigations they have conducted in the Limpopo Province. If bettors placed their bets in regulated establishments, operators would see a massive growth in profits. He also discussed connections to criminal rings and other unscrupulous activities.
By the end of the last day, it was agreed that a prosperous future awaits those who can capitalise on the latest opportunities in the sector and overcome certain challenges. Experienced professionals in the market are always eager to expand their growth and share the secrets to their success with you at our next BiG Africa Summit.
Lastly, we would like to thank all of our exhibitors for showcasing their game-changing products and services at the BiG Africa Summit: BetConstruct, SBTech, Meridian, Gamble Beast, Evolution Gaming, the National Lotteries Commission, Kent Avenue Training, GI, Star Labs, Borden Technology Corporation and BetData. We thank you for your support and welcome you to exhibit at any of our upcoming events in 2018.