The diverse landscape of the African continent extends to the realm of gambling, where millions of people partake in various forms of betting and gaming. From the bustling markets of South Africa to the vibrant cities of Kenya, gambling has become a significant part of the African experience.

With an expanding middle class and increased purchasing power, the African gambling industry has attracted investors and gambling operators alike. In this article, we will explore the top five African countries that gamble the most and delve into the most popular forms of gambling in each nation.


South Africa leads the pack as the largest gambling market in Africa, accounting for nearly half of the continent’s gross gambling revenue. Sports betting takes the crown as the most popular form of gambling in the country, contributing to almost a quarter of the industry’s total revenue. While online gambling is prohibited by the National Gambling Act of 2004, sports and horse race betting are permitted both online and through traditional bookmakers. Once the law changes, we could bet (pun intended) that bigger online casinos will no doubt prosper alongside sportsbook operators.

With 90% of South Africans participating in some form of gambling, the country generates an annual gambling revenue of approximately $2 billion. Currently, South Africa boasts 39 operational land-based casinos and the online gambling sector is also on the rise, with regulated overseas operators obtaining licenses and contributing to the country’s tax revenue.


Kenya, another prominent player in the African gambling scene, allows online gambling, making it a popular destination for gambling enthusiasts. Sports betting reigns supreme in Kenya, with around seven million Kenyans holding accounts primarily used for betting on football. However, potential tax increases have prompted some major players to exit the market, leading to a decline in gross gambling revenue. Nonetheless, experts predict a rapid rise in this figure as technology continues to advance.


Ghana, renowned for having the most regulated gambling sphere in Africa, has implemented various gambling laws dating back to the 1960s. The National Lottery Authority oversees lottery game offerings, while slot machines also enjoy popularity in the country. Punters in Ghana delight in betting on sports, particularly European football leagues, and they face no restrictions when registering accounts on foreign gambling sites. Data suggests that Ghana is home to approximately 283 online gaming websites.


Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, boasts a massive sports betting industry, with bettors contributing an astounding $2 billion per year. However, online gambling remains a contentious issue, as two regulatory bodies are in conflict over who should issue licenses and collect associated fees. Despite the challenges, the Nigerian gambling market continues to thrive, driven by the passion of its enthusiastic bettors.


As the African continent experiences economic growth and technological advancements, the gambling industry continues to flourish. From the well-established market in South Africa to the emerging sectors in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, gambling enthusiasts in Africa have a myriad of options at their fingertips. While each country has its own set of regulations and preferences, one thing remains constant: the undeniable allure of the thrill that comes with a wager.