The gambling sector in East Africa is in a “total mess” following the collapse of global sport in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a Ugandan betting company has said. Betting markets have dramatically shrunk in light of the suspension of the world’s leading football leagues, which has left little for people to gamble on. But in east Africa, the market has been particularly hard-hit because few in the region bet online.
“In terms of sales, we’ve lost about 99% because most of our people are not too much into online betting,” Ivan Kalanzi, a brand ambassador for GAL Sport Betting website, said. “We don’t have too many (online gamblers) in Kenya or Tanzania, where we are more into betting houses.” Many betting shops in the region were closed earlier this month because of the coronavirus outbreak, which is increasing across the region. As a result, an industry whose annual turnover is worth at least $20m in Kenya, $12m in Uganda and approaching $10m in Tanzania has been decimated. “Maybe only 30% do online betting and most are middle income earners who would usually be interested with the giant [football] leagues, like France and Germany, which were put on hold, so it’s a total mess,” Kalinzi added. A vast number of leagues, across a raft of sports, have been suspended in the last month as the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the globe.