Not many people in Africa can comfortably walk into a casino and place stakes. There is a pre conceived belief that casinos are only reserved for white collar tie knotters who come to the casinos to land business deals then occasionally play poker and maybe roll some dice. A few years ago, betting companies from Europe sensed that void and rushed to Africa in droves and; boy oh boy! they have reaped an abundant harvest. As companies in Europe continue to throng the cities of African countries, companies in the US have stood their ground and shrugged off the temptation of jumping on that bandwagon. Why would companies with huge capital reserves and competitive experience in the world of betting stand on the sidelines and let other companies make a killing.
Some argue that the cause for the slowness in the action of the US betting companies is as a result of accessibility. This is definitely not in terms of distance but rather access to the clientele. The betting business is entirely about trust and patience. To earn the two you must have access to customer reliability indicators which can be accessed through associations that bring together companies in the same business. To get access to this data as an outsider can be challenging. Then the question of access to facilities that enable a fair flow of factors of demand is considered by many of these US based companies a business war that should be avoided.
It seems the odds of success are high in Africa and the stakes too risky to justify investment. But how can sports betting houses like My bookie, top bet, and bet on line chicken out of a potentially huge and growing market? Are the profits not attractive enough or the fear of not hitting breakeven levels in the initial years blinding enough to influence major decisions? This can further be explained by the estimates entirely tagged on customer flow not aware that it is difficult to quantify customer flow patterns in most places in Africa. There is no business in the betting sphere that can invest a sizable amount of their capital if they are not fully convinced of the returns on capital invested after a short period of time. This without a shade of doubt might have discouraged US betting companies from showing their faces on the African market.
The USA is a huge market, any comparisons made with any other market especially a growing market like Africa would be unfair yet one of the reasons why they have shied away is their constant comparisons between the African market and the US market. The US betting investors are fully convinced that the American market has an insurmountable comparative advantage in terms of cash flow, betting patterns and a culture that has been shaped and molded by centuries of traditions that are welcoming to any type of gambling. These companies look at Africa as a virgin market with virgin challenges that are unique and present a steep learning curve. Who would want to be bruised by challenges of a new business in a fresh market? Trial and error is far off from the values that build such companies and so they focus on home soil where they can never meet any new challenges.
For a long time the African customer base was underrated. However the success of Sports betting Africa (SBA), BETWAY, and SPORTS PESA is evidence enough to prove how wrong the US companies were. Observational facts confirm that there is a rise in the market of the betting customer base daily in major African countries. As much as the US is twice as big or even more profitable, the emerging market in Africa has the potential to compete in a few years. The companies that believe that kit can become a reality will make their way into Africa. As it stands, it is still seen by many as a budding market in comparison to the betting bubble in US which is almost busting.
The point of market saturation.
Fast forward to today, it is believed that a lot of what deterred the US sports betting companies to Africa is slowly being disproved as hot air. There is a new fear at the door steps though. The African market is now believed to be saturated with different players and the new challenge would be how to break through in case of an investment. This view holds no water though since the US market is more populated with different companies’ and fierce competition. As much as the African market is competitive at the moment, it is far from saturation. Companies that invest today stand a better chance of success than those that are waiting for gaps. The fact is that the market will have more players in the years to come. When will the US embrace it?
Soccer is the cash cow for betting companies in Africa. This however is unfamiliar territory for the US investors who have soon realized the need to study the trade and then invest. American football, baseball and the NBA are territories that these US companies are well versed with and this is not just a detriment but a cause of investment fever. Questions like how will soccer work for them and how will they put out unique odds still linger in their midst and board rooms.
A balanced view.
To think that the US companies would come running to scramble and partition the African betting customer base is not realistic. As much as they possess unique advantages and opportunities in their line of business on the African continent are ripe, most of these companies see this as a risk that is not worth it. More still, there is quite a huge market in the US to be satisfied. But shouldn’t the companies in the US who have a world of experience and financial stability that would give them instant success howl their capital base and invest? There is enough evidence to show that they are missing out on an opportunity that they would otherwise be exploiting. There is nothing more than fear to explain why they are missing out.