What’s the changing scenario for sports betting in Africa? BtoBet’s Chairman discusses its vision at WRB Africa in Nairobi

Kenya is different from other African countries. It represents the place where mobile betting has seen the most expansion and it’s important to understand the dynamics of the move from retail to mobile in this area to know what will soon happen in other countries on the continent.

Alessandro Fried, Founder and Chairman of BtoBet, participated in WRB Africa, Nairobi on 7 June to share his views on the changes that African Sports betting is living through today. Taking the mobile business process in Kenya as a case history is crucial to understanding the direction that several other areas in the country will follow.

In this regard, Fried highlighted: “Kenya confirms an unprecedented number of mobile users, with 83% of mobile penetration and high smartphone diffusion across the country – 60% of mobiles used are smartphones. The large use of mobile payment transactions, for any kind of payment (not only for betting), has pushed the development of very advanced mobile payment methods.”

This might not be the case in other African countries, and when asked why operators across the continent should be looking at a similar move to mobile even when retail revenues remain substantial, Fried answered:

“The African market is pushing towards the mobile direction and the diffusion of mobile payment methods for managing different aspects of daily life. Betting is an element of that and therefore operators have to grab the opportunity now, anticipating the trend and staying ahead of competitors.”

He added: “Successful Sports book retail businesses generate an extremely competitive gambling environment, where operators do not have adequate instruments to stay competitive. In particular, licensees lack a genuine interaction with the consumer. In contrast, the mobile environment offers plenty of tools and means of communicating to retain players and create mutual relationships in terms of one to one communication.”

So, what’s the strategy to adapt in such a fast transforming framework? Fried explained: “The correct move is the creation of a real omnichannel environment where the existing retail network becomes a means to promote the brand and its products. It is vital to optimise services and infrastructures according to the most appropriate channel, improving the user’s gaming experience anywhere.

“With the evolution of the shop from anonymous betting systems to a place offering assisted bets, the player becomes recognisable by the system through any channel he decides to use. As a consequence, the operator can always track the user’s data and preferences and drive his offers in the most effective and profitable way.”


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