Uganda will be host to a major international betting conference in 2017, for the second time in the past three years. The Annual Sports Betting East Africa conference will take place from April 10th – April 11th at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
The conference will see participants from across Europe and Africa meet to discuss the future of the betting industry in Africa, one of the fastest growing marketplaces in the world. They will discuss strategies, trends and the latest opportunities available to make the betting sector more appealing and lucrative for all stakeholders.
Project director of the event, Yudi Soetjiptadi, comments that the Annual Sports Betting conference is the only dedicated event of its type in Africa.
The conference comes at a time of increasing popularity for sports betting in Uganda and throughout the African continent. This is no coincidence as investors are recognising the potential for new growth and aiming to broaden the scope for the industry. According to Soetjiptadi, the African continent represents the “largest market opportunity for the gaming industry over the next five years.”
Last year’s Annual Sports Betting East Africa conference featured talks from guest speakers, panel discussions, exhibitions and meetings, allowing those interested in the industry to network and to learn about the complexities of the African marketplace.
This year’s event is likely to have more focus on policy. Anton Opaman from Betway Uganda hopes to see the direction sway away from promotional and supplier networking aspects of the event in favour of more serious issues. Included are discussions with policymakers that are intended to lead to a brighter future for betting in Africa. He hopes that a broader understanding of the economics will drive sensible policy.
Other issues surrounding the African gaming industry will also be discussed, including transparency and accountability and the rise of mobile gaming. Attendees will aim to further understand why sports betting is gaining such rapid popularity in Africa.
It is clear to see that the popularity of sports betting and gaming are rising in Africa. Research by Price water house Coopers suggests that Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are the fastest growing markets, with Uganda and Tanzania also representing big opportunities in East Africa.
Uganda first came onto the betting scene in 2004 with the emergence of the national lottery, alongside the opening of several legitimate casino operators. In 2004, Sports Betting Africa opened the first sport’s betting establishment, in time with the growing popularity of English football, which has since been a huge factor in the betting market.
Today, there are thousands of betting shops across Uganda, and sports betting and other forms of gaming have also become household names online.
Chairman of National Lottery and Gaming Regulatory Board Manzi Tumubweine is in agreement with the upcoming Annual Sports Betting East Africa conference. He believes that a regular event will have a positive impact on the industry. He also expresses that his hopeful strategy is to have “fewer but more serious operators.”
Gaming in Africa is now a multi-billion dollar industry. For better or worse, the industry must grow to meet consumer demands. The Annual Sports Betting conference is major catalyst in this growth.