Boom time in South Africa for betting and bingo, but casino is being held back

  • South African gambling sector worth $1.93 billion
  • Report suggests industry could hit annual growth of 5 percent over the next four years

South Africa’s gambling industry is booming and is likely to continue to grow at a rate of five percent a year, according to a new report.

Gambling in South Africa is on the rise.
Gambling in South Africa is on the rise.

The analysis, carried out by accounting firm PwC, shows that the South African gambling sector is currently worth around R27 billion ($1.94 billion) up from R26 billion ($1.93 billion) in 2016 and is set to reach the R28 billion ($2.01 billion) by the end of the financial year.

The report, entitled ‘Gambling Outlook South Africa 2017-2021’ also predicts that the industry will grow at a compounded rate of over five percent during the next four years. Gross Gambling Revenue has increased by over R4 billion ($0.29 billion) since 2014 and PwC estimates that the industry could reach a value of around R34.8 billion ($2.5 billion) by 2021.

Success stories

Some sectors of South Africa’s gambling industry have enjoyed more success than others. Bingo is one of the biggest success stories and saw growth of 36.6 percent last year – the fastest growth of any gambling activity. PwC estimate that the bingo sector could be worth R2.2 billion ($0.16 billion) by the end of the four year period.

Betting is also booming. This sector includes legal horse racing, as well as sports betting, which grew by 21 percent last year. In fact, since 2012, the sports betting industry has increased from R847 ($60.85 million) to R2.9 billion ($0.21 billion), and, according to PwC, this continued expansion will help to increase the value of the betting sector to R7.5 billion ($0.54 billion) by 2021.

The only negative trend identified in the report, is that of the casino sector, which saw a drop of 1.7 percent over the last year, due partly to the emergence of an illegal casino gambling industry, though the report still predicts that casino gambling will recover and could be worth R21.2 billion ($1.52 billion) by 2021.

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