HomeNewsEffects of the Proliferation of Online Sports Betting in Senegal

Effects of the Proliferation of Online Sports Betting in Senegal

Sports betting games continue to electrify young people. The proliferation of game rooms and the meteoric rise of online platforms has led to the mass adoption of a large proportion of young people. The fervour caused by these games of chance, which have become more accessible with digitalization, vitiates the school. More and more, students are adhering to this scourge which negatively impacts their studies.

The actors of education and civil society who are today looking for ways and means to stop the scourge point the finger at the responsibility of the Senegalese National Lottery (Lonase) and the State which they invite to regulate the sector.

Games of chance have been authorized in Senegal since 1966 by law n°66-58 of June 30, 1966, relating to the organization and regulations of gaming establishments. Today, it is no longer the wheel that turns to slowly let the balls fall. We are rather seeing an increase in the power of these games of chance, especially sports betting, which has become more accessible. The arrival of online platforms is in addition to the Senegalese National Lottery (Lonase) kiosks which are springing up like mushrooms throughout the streets of Dakar.

Even though according to local reports, cashiers, are at the forefront of observing how sports betting is gaining ground in Senegal. several games room is the meeting place for local punters of all ages. Both adults and minors indulge in these games of chance. At Dalifort, “Every day I have the impression that the punters are becoming more and more numerous,” she emphasizes. On average, it receives around a hundred punters per day.

The result of this ease of access ended up exposing many young people to addiction. The minors who parade through his shop make up a good part of the clientele, around twenty. Twenty out of a hundred, that’s a quarter of young people who are right in the offence.

However, in the 2022 sums up in the financial year the numbers reported were staggering with a record turnover of CFA 266 billion(445 million USD) 84 million 511,823 F out of a target of 250 billion. That’s an excess of more than 16 billion. Against 50 billion CFA francs wagered (84 million USD), 40 billion of which were paid to the winners in 2021, or 10 billion in profits.

Almost all of them dedicate themselves to the practice which continues to grow in strength. Bet (betting in English) was only introduced in Senegal in 2018, according to an article in the newspaper Le Monde. Today, the exact number of punters is not known.

However, 1Xbet, which was not even part of the top 20 most visited sites in Senegal in 2020, is now in 8th place in 2021, according to the Alexa ranking. Alexa Ranking is a global ranking system (and a subsidiary of Amazon.com) that uses web traffic data to list the most popular sites. It ranks literally millions of sites in order of popularity. The lower your Alexa ranking, the more popular your site is. Which shows how much online betting mobilizes a large part of young people.

Today, although official statistics on the number of punters are lacking, many devote most of their time to this activity to which they become addicted. The day we visited his gaming room, 6 players hanging on to the controllers claimed not to have reached the age to bet. Betting students who often see their academic performance drop, some even ending up abandoning studies in favour of the quest for easy money.

However, according to the texts of Lonase, it is prohibited for “under 18 years” to participate in games of chance, in particular through decree n°2018-489 of February 26, 2018 providing that “only adults are admitted to participate in games of chance, lotteries, predictions and similar operated by Lonase.

Aniedi Ekwere
Aniedi Ekwere
Author/Consultant Find More Africa/AA Advisory, We provide betting reviews, thought leadership articles in the emerging markets, business development on products/ platforms in Africa with solid networking relationships with gaming operators in Africa, and Expertise in PR and marketing communication, and iGaming Consulting Services.

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