In South African gambling news, BetTech Gaming have come to an agreement with Durban based Kruger Racing to provide the highly popular BetTech Sports product for new online betting site Krugerbets. One of the keys behind the deal is the integration with mobile betting, something that provides a very different challenge in Africa to most of the world.
With mobile betting taking place mainly on feature phones rather than smartphones powered by Apple or Google, mobile sites need to be streamlined and quick to access, something that was essential for Kruger Racing to find. Kruger’s General Manager Craig Swan said the “thousands of devices” that require simple mobile web pages was at the center of the BetTech deal, “rather than solely going for the much smaller smartphone market.”
South African gambling laws are often difficult to decipher, and while online casinos themselves are illegal in the country, sportsbooks are legal. There are 32 licensed sportsbooks in the Western Cape, just one of South Africa’s nine gambling and racing boards. Often the power of land based casinos is thought to be behind the continued illegality of online casinos, but an amendment that legalizes them is due to be heard, again, after an appeal to the high court is heard.
Meanwhile, BetTech has also increased its portfolio outside the country, helping Ugandan based 256Bet to get their mobile site up and running, which provided another challenge. Ian Barnes, BetTech’s cheif technology officer explained that access to bank accounts “cannot be taken for granted”, and that providers needed to look at alternatives payment methods for African gamblers.
With mobile gambling really taking off throughout the world, Africa has a different slant on the craze. With access to the internet severely restricted in some places, mobile is the only way to bet, and Ian Barnes offered a cautionary note: “If you forget about mobile in Africa, Africa will forget about you.”