Mark Schmidt Shares His Insights Into the Future of Gaming in Africa

Headshot of Mark Schmidt, Director of Sales, Africa in top left corner. Pronet Gaming logo in bottom left corner. Image on the right is a bulb with Africa in the middle. Quote reads "Counterintuitively, Africa is at the forefront of innovation worldwide when it comes to the delivery of online gaming to suit its users' needs"

Emerging markets will play such an important role in shaping the future of our industry and our Director of Sales in Africa, recently discussed Africa’s position with iGaming Future


What are the best ways to convert players to new online games?

Localisation is essential. The best illustration of this is the differences that exist between Kenya and Nigeria. Free to play games in Kenya are hugely popular and players do not necessarily have to spend anything to enter contests that contain large jackpots. In Nigeria, virtual games are must-haves for operators. Knowing your specific customer’s needs is everything.

It must be said that the online infrastructure in many parts of Africa is still a major challenge for online operators. While geos like Europe and Asia successfully filled the gap in live sports during the pandemic with verticals like online esports, casino and slots, the lack of a widespread mobile alternative has hampered a similar recovery in Africa.

There are alternatives to retail throughout Africa, but to loosen its grip and prevent events like the recent pandemic from having such a negative impact in the future, a thoughtful approach that takes into account the nuances of each region is crucial.


What are the new products and gaming trends emerging in the market?

Counterintuitively, Africa is at the forefront of innovation worldwide when it comes to the delivery of online gaming to suit its users’ needs. This is obvious when we examine the average number of users each betting brand has across various countries, presenting figures that would impress any European operator.

Across the continent, operators are getting it right when it comes to maintaining player trust and, as a result, retention. Operators in countries like Ghana and Nigeria have remained adept at keeping their punters engaged, not just with football betting, but with free-to-play, virtual and casino games. They have risen to the occasion and learned how to become entertainment providers, not just betting brands.

Another element where Africa is playing a world-leading role is within payments. In Kenya, the use of mobile phones as payment devices is widespread. One survey last year found that in Uganda, 43% of people had a mobile money account and in Kenya, the number was 72%. In other parts of Africa you can only deposit and withdraw to and from a gambling site using a bank transfer, which can take hours.


What is the level of innovation in the market and what advancements in tech are still needed to take this region to the next level?

A lot has been made of the rise of mobile on the continent, and growth rates remain very impressive. Yet retail still rules the roost in cash-focused economies wherever you look. As a result, the closure of shops and the loss of live sport produced a perfect storm through which online has the opportunity to grow further.

To help operators avail of these opportunities, Pronet Gaming takes a consultative approach to any new client, in any new country. Our clients play an active role and we listen to them and adapt to their needs. We also have a very strong executive and product team. This provides us with the edge over our competitors in the region in terms of knowledge.

Industry Recognition

SBC Multi Channel Supplier SBC Sportsbook Supplier EGR Multi Channel Supplier EGR Innovation in Sports Betting Software EGR Sportsbook Platform Supplier EGR Sports Betting Supplier Retail Supplier
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