Nseobong Okon-Ekong asked key stakeholders what players, stakers and the general public should expect in 2023 from the gaming industry.
End of Tussle Between Federal Government and States:
Olajide Boladuro, Director-General of Oyo State Gaming and Lottery Board
As an offshoot of the Sports Betting West African Summit held last year and given the rapid growth of the gaming industry, it is expected that the Nigerian gaming industry will see an unprecedented amount of influx of investors, especially among the bookmakers and casino game providers.
It is also expected that the lingering tussle between the federal and state governments will be laid to rest. I am positive that the states’ gaming regulators will come up with a robust framework to unify and solidify regulations. I also look forward to the Supreme Court decision this year on who has the constitutional mandate to regulate and licence gaming businesses in Nigeria.
More Gaming Communities Will Spring Up
Oscar Michael, Cofounder of Africomicade
2023 is set to be a great year for the gaming industry. We expect to see more physical events for stakeholders to connect as well as more gaming communities and businesses spring up to grow the ecosystem.
On the game development side, there will be more game startups and projects on displaying looking for funding and a share of the market.
All in all, it’s open season for gaming this 2023
Market Disruption Due to New Products
Solomon Godwin, Senior Business Development Manager, Africa Continent, Pragmatic Play
I expect to see market disruption in terms of investment, new products introduction, and marketing as offshore sportsbooks/operators begin to take Africa seriously. Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tunisia, and Tanzania are in focus. The rise in mobile betting offerings will continue as more and more operators review their offline retail strategies.
Expect 16 Global Gaming Events
Yudi Soetjiptadi, Managing Director, Eventus International
Eventus International is moving full steam ahead from the get-go of the New Year and will be hosting 16 spectacular events across the globe in 2023. Each event will cover unique topics and markets related to the specific region the event is taking place in. Gaming industry insiders can look forward to each event providing a space for individuals and businesses to grow, connect, network, share and gain knowledge about this fast-paced, thrilling industry.
Managing Director Yudi Soetjiptadi said, “The New Year is a chance to turn your aspirations into a reality! All the best for 2023, and we hope to see as many of you as possible at any or all of our spectacular events that we have in store for 2023.”
More Support to Problem Gamblers
Fisayo Oke, CEO, Gambling Alert
Effective prevention of gambling harms requires a coherent and coordinated ‘whole-system approach’, involving partnerships with healthcare providers, public health agencies, local authorities, and voluntary sector organisations. This will help to ensure appropriate prevention messages, referral routes, and care pathways are in place for individuals in need of support and will enable individuals to receive the right intervention at the right time. At Gamble Alert, we expect that the gaming regulators and gaming companies (lotto, sports betting, casino, pools betting, etc.) will pay more attention to safer gambling through support for sensitization, research and treatment services for problem gamblers.
There Will Be Definite Shift in Customer Interest
Gossy Ukanwoke, MD, Betking
2023 is going to be a pivotal year for gaming globally. As the industry continues to grow and reach more maturity, there will be a definite shift in customer interests that will set the outlook for years to come. In Nigeria, I believe that we will reach a resolution on the regulatory dichotomy. This will transform the industry and better position it to contribute massively to employment, economic indices, taxes and remittances to government and community development.
Indigenous Operators Should Get Listed on the Stock Exchange
Yahaya Maikori, Managing Partner, Law Allianz
The industry has grown exponentially in the last seven years or so, and so have some of the companies. What I will love to see starting from 2023 is to see indigenous operators list their operations in their local stock exchanges, even the alternative securities market. For me, that will signify the coming of age of the industry – such a move will mainstream the industry, placing it side-by-side with other blue chip companies which are considered significant players in the financial sector. Such initiatives will help attract the needed investments from financial institutions, bring confidence to the public while debunking the long-held misconception that gambling operations are largely pipelines for criminal activities and, therefore, incapable of transparency.
Outside of South Africa, I cannot point to any other African operator which has successfully achieved this milestone. Recently, a listed South African media company bought significant shares in a Nigerian operator but as far back as 2002, Phumalela was listed on the Johannesburg Stock exchange.