Betting, particularly through mobile platforms, is a prevalent activity among the youth in Africa. Over time, GeoPoll has conducted surveys, both internally and on behalf of clients, indicating the widespread popularity of gambling across the continent. 

We previously published a report on gambling in Africa in January 2022 following a survey of young people in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. In March 2024, we ran the same survey in the same countries and are happy to present the results here: 

Employment status of the respondents 

This rapid survey, targeting random users, revealed that 38% of respondents are currently employed. Close behind, 21.44% reported being unemployed, while 20.15% identified as business owners or self-employed individuals. Additionally, 19% indicated they were students, with a small 2% unable to work. 

Most Africans have placed bets, and Kenya still leads in betting  

When questioned about their betting experience, 76.16% of respondents have admitted to placing bets, while 23.84% have never engaged in betting.

Notably, Kenya emerges as a standout, with 82.81% of its respondents having placed bets. South Africa follows closely behind with 73.94%, then Ghana with 73.03%, Uganda with 71.43%, Tanzania with 71.13%, and Nigeria with 65.32%. 

In the 2022 study, Kenya led with 83.90% saying they have ever tried their hand at gambling or betting, followed by Nigeria (78%) and South Africa (74%).    

Gambling frequency 

For the respondents who affirmed that they had ever placed bets, we followed up with a question on how often they are gambling. While the 2022 study found that the largest segment of respondents at 44.4% placed bets once a month, the latest findings suggest a shift, with the largest segment of respondents at 32% now betting approximately once a week. Additionally, 20.84% place their bets once a month, 17.76% bet at least once a day, and 15.61% bet more than once a day. 

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Football betting is the most popular 

According to AEON Football is regarded as one of the most beloved sports across the world,  with a staggering fan base of 3.5 billion people. It is played and followed passionately across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.  

The sport’s immense popularity is not limited to the professional level, as over 265 million individuals engage in soccer. Our finding also shows that Football is the most preferred sports betting item, with 76.53% leaning towards it. Casino follows with 9.69% and other sports 5.14%. 

During the AFCON 2023 study, it was observed that half of the respondents, engaged in gambling activities. 

Average monthly spend 

When we asked about average monthly spending on placing bets, a big majority (56%) said they spend below $5 USD. 

On average, Tanzania had the highest average spend, followed by Uganda and Ghana. Please note that we used rounded local currency amounts in the survey and used approximate USD bands only for context. 

About this survey 

This GeoPoll rapid survey was conducted in March 2024 among 3,070 youth in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda using the GeoPoll mobile app. The sample was not fully demographically representative and naturally skewed towards younger people in urban areas. The sample comprised 72% males and 28% females. Age groups were distributed as follows: 18-24 (40%), 25-34 (46%), and over 35 (14%). 

To conduct a scientific study on gambling or other topics in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, please contact GeoPoll.