Around 30% of punters in South Africa bet on football, whereas 65% of bettors choose this sport in Ghana

betting preferences in africa
African' Punters Betting Preferences

The rapid growth of smartphone users in some parts of the world has had a major effect on different industries. Although online betting is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, it has become a lot more popular in many African countries. Naturally, people there bet on all kinds of things.

According to, around 30% of the punters in South Africa bet on football, and another 30% are interested in lotteries. What’s interesting is that South Africa has the most impressive lottery fan base compared to every other country in Africa. “The fact that South Africa has the largest number of lotto fans is not surprising. This is one of the gambling activities allowed in the country, so many people are interested in it.”, said Kristiyan from Nostrabet.

Football is Africa’s most popular sport, which is why it is trendy in many other countries. For example, around 65% of online bettors in Ghana choose this sport. The percentage is also high in Nigeria, where nearly 50% of bettors will punt on football.

With that said, African people bet on other things, so let’s explore some popular options. Obviously, this research can’t include every African country, so it will focus on the places with the most active bettors.

Africe betting preferences infographic

South Africa

As mentioned, lotteries and football are the two main things that attract bettors in South Africa. Nevertheless, locals are also into other kinds of things, such as casinos.

What’s interesting is that South Africa is one of the few places on the continent where people can visit land-based casinos. However, the local jurisdiction does not allow online casinos. This forces some of the leading iGaming operators to bypass the regulations to offer their users the chance to play slots and other casino games from the comfort of their homes.

South Africans’ Betting Preferences

The study shows that around 9% of South African bettors are into horse racing, whereas only around 3% prefer dog racing. Although these 2 sports may be less popular in other parts of Africa, they have long-lasting traditions here. Consequently, people keep betting on them.

Interestingly, around 15% of bettors in South Africa choose to punt on other sports, whereas only 6% are interested in poker. With that said, South Africa has the largest poker fanbase in Africa, which probably explains why around 15% are into casinos.


There is no arguing that Nigeria is among the leaders when it comes down to gambling in Africa. It is among the few countries where iGaming is legal because the state has its gambling regulator. However, users can access all kinds of offshore betting websites that accept clients from Nigeria.

Unsurprisingly, more than 50% of people in the country bet on football, and around 18% choose other kinds of sports. In Nigeria, people watch and play all kinds of sports, so it shouldn’t be surprising that sports punting is popular. Speaking of the devil, around 7% are into dog racing, whereas 9% prefer to wager on horse racing.

Nigerians’ Betting Preferences

Aside from sports, Nigeria has the 2nd largest casino fanbase, around 11%. The same applies to lotteries, although most people prefer using lotteries from other countries.

Lastly, around 5% of gamblers in the country prefer poker, which probably doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, only a few iGaming operators in Nigeria have a stand-alone poker client.


Like the previous 2 countries we’ve included on the list, Ghana is where online and land-based gambling are flourishing. People over 18 bet on all kinds of things, but football leads the chart with around 63%. This shouldn’t be a surprise because Ghana has one of the best football competitions in Africa.

What’s interesting about this country is that only around 2% of bettors choose things like horse racing or dog racing. Instead, more than 14% are interested in other sports, including tennis, boxing, cricket, handball, and more.

Ghanaians’ Betting Preferences

Regarding casinos, Ghana doesn’t have as many casino fans as the rest because only around 9% of iGaming fans play slots and other types of things. However, it has the second-largest lotto fanbase in Africa, with around 15%.

Lastly, poker is also trendy among gamblers in Ghana, but this only applies to around 4% of the population.


The popularity of the iGaming industry in Kenya is also growing by the day, especially when it comes down to sports betting. That’s the big reason why more than 56% of bettors wager on football, and around 12% choose other sports.

Horse racing and dog racing are also reasonably big in Kenya, but only around 4% of bettors are interested in them. Many punters prefer things like athletics, tennis, basketball, and other popular options.

Kenyans’ Betting Preferences

In terms of casino games, Kenya has the second largest fanbase because 12% of people are interested in it. Lotteries are also big because the data shows that around 11% of bettors put their luck to the test.

Lastly, we have poker, which is the least popular betting option in Kenya, with around 3%.

Why do most people in Africa choose football, lotteries, and casinos?

Nowadays, gambling companies provide many things that users can choose from, especially in Africa. However, most people prefer betting on sports, participating in lotteries, and playing casino games. Each of those has its pros and cons, so here are some things to keep in mind.

Football Betting
Casino Games

Average Values of the Main 3 iGaming options across African bettors


Besides being Africa’s most popular sport, football is the thing that attracts the most online bettors. Many punters in countries like Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria choose to wager on this in the local leagues. Yet, others are also interested in popular international competitions, such as the Champions League, Premier League, and more.

Football offers more markets and better odds than anything else. Moreover, this sport also provides a wide range of features. Bookmakers often give users access to live betting, live streaming, and other kinds of things.


Those who are not into football betting have the chance to choose from other gambling options. Although lotteries aren’t that popular in some parts of the world, this isn’t the case in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. Following our research, it became clear that lotteries have a key role in the gambling industry.

There are different kinds of lotteries that people can bet on, such as those that take place in their own countries. However, you can often find gamblers more interested in things such as Mega Millions.


Finally, we have the world of online and land-based casinos. Albeit smaller than the sports betting industry in Africa, these businesses are becoming more and more popular daily. Yet, not every country has the needed regulation, which means that people often find themselves in situations where they can’t legally use an online casino.

Gamblers in Nigeria who choose an iGaming operator can often find thousands of titles from the leading software providers. The best online casinos are also famous for providing an impressive range of bonuses. Sometimes, users even have the option to test certain games for free.

Veselin Ignatov
Veselin IgnatovVeselin's primary job is to create unique content, such as reviews and analyses of different bookmakers and other topics from the iGaming industry.

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