International online casino company Betway have announced that the new year will see the launch of their mobile app in South Africa, further expanding the company’s range on the continent. The move highlights the continued growth of mobile betting around the world and follows the trend that people are using smartphones to do more than they now do with a laptop or desktop.
Mobile apps and social media
As with around the world, one of the biggest growth areas in terms of internet use and how South Africans use apps is social media. The growth of mobile apps has risen by over 60% in the last two years with more and more businesses realising that they need to offer an app to grow their customer base. As 50% of people use their smartphone to access the internet, the availability of an app is crucial for growth.
Companies are also investing in social media and ensuring that everything they offer on these sites works well through a smartphone. Over 50% businesses in 2014 were intending to train staff to deal with social media and some 44% of those spoken to already had a social media budget in their advertising budget. Top of the list is Facebook with 93% of brands using it in South Africa to reach customers, followed by 79% using Twitter and 58% using YouTube, showing that the growth of video as a way to reach people continues to grow. Since then, this figure continues to grow as more and more businesses realise the importance of the smartphone consumer.
Changing face of gaming
This growth in the use of smartphone and social media also has an effect on other areas that applications are offered in. One study by PricewaterhouseCooper in 2015 showed that while all areas of app usage was growing across the country, video game platforms in their many forms were seeing the most growth.
A combination of greater internet coverage and the access to the relevant technology for more people are seen as the main drivers behind this change. Younger people in particular are tied to their smartphones, using them for almost everything and rarely being far from them, as parents will complain. And the growth of internet coverage continues to grow, with around 20% extra people each year being able to use the internet wherever they are.
Mobile betting is popular with a wide age range and across genders, leading to the announcement by Betway that they are expanding their mobile app to the country. It follows an increasing demand for betting on all types of sports.
In 1996, South Africa passed the Gambling Act that granted 40 gambling licenses across the country. At first, horse racing was the most popular sport to bet on but others such as football and rugby have grown in recent years. By 2014, sports betting accounted for 13% of the total gambling revenue in South Africa and this is a figure that looks set to continue to rise.
Betway are a company founded in the UK in 2006 and operate across Europe. They have recently added licenses for Kenya and Ghana to cater for the demand for mobile betting in these countries and are adding South Africa with the new app launching early 2017. The company are committed to working in the community across Africa as well as providing their apps for customers, including their sponsorship deal with the leading football team in Ghana, Ashanti Gold. Their deal has helped the club to set up a youth academy and to renovate their stadium and facilities to be among the best in the region.