For long, Africa has ranked low in Olympic medal tables. Then, the Kenyan and Ethiopian long-distance runners came and made their nations feel proud. At 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kenya won 14 medals, including 6 gold ones. This makes it the best performing African nation. Ethiopia with 7 medals (including 4 gold ones) was second.
Many of the runners coming from these countries have been poached by wealthy Arab nations such as Qatar, Bahrain, or United Arab Emirates. For taking the citizenships of these states (and representing them during sporting events), the athletes were offered large sums of money, going into hundreds of thousands of dollars, a fortune in poor sub-Saharan African countries.
When it comes to sports betting, however, these nations almost don’t exist on the map. On the other hand, South Africans get to bet via online sportsbooks in South Africa. But, the performance of the Rainbow Nation athletes is mediocre, even at its best.
While being the wealthiest nation in Africa, South African athletes won only one silver medal in Beijing. Four years before, in Athens, it was a bit better: six medals in total.
Despite lackluster performance, some South Africans like to wager on sports, making it one of the most attractive markets on the continent. The South African gambling laws are still imprecise, thus the market isn’t very developed yet.
The government actually banned many forms of online gambling, but now is reconsidering it, while seeking to impose gambling taxes. Many punters, in effect, go to offshore Internet outfits.
Going up north, it becomes even harder to bet on sports in the Arab nations. The major reason: Islam prohibits gambling with exception of some sports such as camel racing or archery.
While not a very attractive market, Africa can be a niche market for those willing to take risks for high potential payoffs.