888 Breaks into the African iGaming Market through Joint Venture
Posted on: March 29, 2022, 06:55h.
Last updated on: March 29, 2022, 01:40h.
888 Holdings is ready to expand its global reach. The gaming operator with action in all verticals is moving into Africa through a joint venture with established and recognizable gaming names.
888 Holdings its hands in all online – and some land-based – gaming, and is taking its portfolio to Africa. The company announced it will partner with five well-known gaming executives with the experience and talent to find success where others have failed.
An announcement by 888 explains that it will operate online sports betting and iGaming brands in certain regulated markets in Africa. It has accepted a minority stake in a joint venture, 888Africa, that will operate its brands in the region. Ultimately, 888 can increase its holdings to as much as 100%.
In order to facilitate the rollout, the joint venture includes several big names, three of whom were previously with The Stars Group (TSG). These include Christopher Coyne, a former chief marketing officer and chief customer officer, former managing director of sportsbook Andrew Lee, and former sportsbook trading director Ian Marmion. Lee is currently the chairman of Voxbet.
Editec Online’s former chief product officer, Alex Rutherford, and former Premier Bet Chief Financial Officer Helen Scott-Allen will guide 888Africa’s success.
The structure of this deal enables the group to invest in a strong business with high growth ambitions, without distracting focus from our core business and key strategic markets,” states 888 CEO Itai Pazner.
Coyne will serve as the new company’s CEO and is already getting things in place. 888Africa will operate under a licensing agreement, with 888 using a third-party gaming platform, according to the announcement. All of the gaming options offered will be developed for African consumers. As long as it can secure the licenses in time, 888Africa will be available in four African markets before the end of this year.
Africa Gaming on the Rise
Last year, Forbes said that Africa is the fastest-growing continent. This, to some degree, has made it attractive for gaming operators. However, there are still a number of restrictions from one jurisdiction to the next.
South Africa is particularly enticing and has always been a hot spot for gambling activities. Since 1673, gambling activities have been under strict control. All forms of gambling were illegal prior to 1996. Because it was considered a sports activity, betting on horse races was exempted from the gambling definition.
In 1994, a new democratic government took control of the country and lifted the ban on all gambling activities. This markedly changed the way that the country’s gambling industry developed.
Two years later, lawmakers approved the National Gambling Act. It established the country’s comprehensive licensing system, ushering in a new era of gaming reform.
Now, South Africa controls around 80% of the entire gambling industry in Africa. This makes it particularly attractive, and it will continue to be a target for operators looking for new markets.
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