Yes, apparently South Africa is the defacto giant in the African gambling market. A recent report released by the giant consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) breaks out the numbers for gambling in the African market. Interestingly, the report notes that the province of Gauteng has a higher percentage of gamblers than any other province in South Africa. This is most likely due to the fact that although Gauteng is the smallest province by actual land mass, it is also one of the most urbanized provinces.
No matter. The fact is that South Africans as a group tend to be shrugging off the stagnant economy and enjoying themselves with gambling and casinos. Reported revenues for the gambling industry increased more last year year than at any time in the last five years.
The point is clear, South Africans have spoken the language that is understood around the world. South Africans have opened up their wallets and enjoyed themselves at their favorite casinos.
Now one thing that this report is lacking is the other side of the tale. If there are this many South Africans enjoying casinos in legal land based casinos, you can’t help but wonder how many more there out there in the online casino world.
The report goes on to hightlight another significant finding. Whereas reported revenue for casino games has increased year over year, the revenue from lotto sales has been dropping. Not only that, at the same time that lotto sales are dropping and more people are enjoying casino games, another big surprise is the rise of sports betting. Sports betting increased by almost 20 percent up to R2.6 Billion.
One more thing that this report does not mention is the revenue from online casinos. Although technically online casinos and online gambling are technically illegal throughout South Africa everyone knows they are there. Police spokesmen report that they estimate that there are about five illegal online casinos in each of the nine provinces. So, just doing some simple math, that means the police estimate there are about 45 online casinos operating in South Africa whereas there are only 37 land based casinos.
So what does that mean? Follow the storyline so far and it is easy to see. If revenue at land based casinos rose that much, how much do you suppose it increased at online casinos? You already know that more and more people are flocking to online gambling sites. Perhaps the numbers reported above are just the tip of the iceberg.