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The Rise of Online Gaming beyond Europe

The technology growth and access of high-speed internet across the world gave online gaming industry an access to the markets that were not considered as lucrative until recently. Earlier, people considered Americas and Europe as the market of gaming, but the recent years showed that Asia and Africa are growing as attractive fields for gaming, especially in online gaming. Several studies have shown that the Asian and African youth are lining up behind online gaming especially after the smartphone revolution and access of high-speed 4G network in both the continents. When 60% of the world population live in Asia, and another 20% live in Africa, who can avoid both the demographics?

Asia Pacific Market is on a Rise

Macau is the epicenter of the traditional Asian gaming and casino market for long. Interestingly, Singapore, South Korea, and Kuala Lumpur also contributing their parts. A Research and Markets survey published in June 2017 showed that the gambling market of Asia Pacific region would display a growth of CAGR of 7.31% for the period 2017-21. One of the major reasons for the momentum is the availability of alternative cash, including virtual money. Especially in the online gaming industry, the growth of virtual money significantly boosted its growth.

In South Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, the rise in the disposable income becomes another contributor to the growth of the industry. The gaming addiction of people from small-income groups and non-legalization of online gambling in some countries are creating roadblocks for the industry in Asia. Since the U.S. government started efforts to legalize sports betting, many people expect that it might influence the Asian countries to create a regulatory framework for the same. The Middle East is an area where the online gaming industry could not make any significant presence due to the strict regulations.

Africa is not far behind

While coming to Africa, the situation is no different, and online gambling became one of the most exciting industries in terms of growth, in the recent years. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers research showed that Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria are showing fastest growth in the demography. The research further revealed that the smartphones are acting as the biggest drivers of online gambling in Kenya. Per a Digital Skills Observatory report, almost 33% of Kenyans actively involve in gaming using their smartphones.

Additionally, the report further says that Kenya would get 142% revenue growth in betting from 2014 to 2020. People from many African countries land on sites from European countries or Americas to enjoy gaming due to the issues with payment options in the home countries. Interestingly, the online gaming industry of the top three countries, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, would touch $37 billion by 2018, per the reports.

Some Interesting Facts

Per TMR Analysis for the year 2015, Asia Pacific region produced second highest revenue in online gambling behind Europe. Recent news reports confirm that China has appointed a committee to legalize online gaming in Hainan Island. It includes online casino, sports betting, and lottery. If the government decides to approve the proposal, the online gaming industry will get access one of the most crucial markets around the world as Hainan is known for beautiful beaches with millions of visitors per year.

While coming to Africa, South Africa is the biggest online as well as traditional gaming market. Reports suggest that poverty is one of the major reasons prompting people to try their luck in gambling. While there are licensed gaming sites in countries like South Africa, illegal online casinos also operate in a majority of the African countries.

Conclusion

There is a clear shift from traditional gaming to online gaming due to 24/7 access from around the world. The casinos also design online games similar to video games to bring the young people into the world of casino gaming. Indications show that more countries from both Asia and Africa are planning to open their skies for online gaming – a great news for the players in the industry.

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