Sports betting in Ghana has undergone a sharp transformation in the last few years.
At the onset, betting was done in brick-and-mortar shops situated around Accra, Kumasi and other big cities, but things have changed very quickly.
That phase has now transitioned into the online betting era, with a large percentage of Ghanaian bettors now betting on their mobile devices.
The rise in sports betting in Ghana has coincided with the increasing mobile penetration in the country.
As at January 2021, there were 41.69 mobile connections in Ghana, an increment of 8.1% from January of the previous year.
Recognizing the proliferation of mobile phones in Ghana, betting operators have shifted their focus almost exclusively to mobile betting.
A few betting companies still operate physical shops in Ghana, but many of them, especially their newer ones, offer just online and mobile betting.
Mobile betting is very much the future of sports betting in Ghana.
Coupled with improving internet accessibility, the increase in mobile penetration in Ghana has significantly expanded the reach of betting sites in the West African nation.
No longer is betting restricted to the big urban areas, everyone in Ghana can now place a bet conveniently from their living rooms.
Beyond mobile phones and the internet, the other major catalyst behind the sharp growth of online sports betting in Ghana is mobile money.
Mobile money has completely changed the financial climate in Ghana. When it arrived in Ghana for the first time, it took some time to find its feet, but it has become the ultimate financial solution for many Ghanaians.
Regardless of where you are in Ghana, you can send and receive money, and pay all sorts of bills from the convenience of your mobile devices.
As of January 2021, almost 40% of Ghanaians aged 15 and above had mobile money accounts.
Betting operators have tapped into the mobile money revolution in Ghana, with the best betting companies like betway offering all the popular mobile money networks.
Any betting site serious about doing business in Ghana must have Ghana’s big three- MTN, Airtel Tigo, and Vodafone- as their main payment methods.
With mobile money, bettors can now deposit and withdraw money from their betting sites on their mobile phones without worrying about banks and the internet.
All of these factors have turned Ghana into one of the fastest-growing growing sports betting markets in Africa.
The country still lags behind continental heavyweights like South Africa and Nigeria, but it is making up some decent ground very quickly.
Currently, there are over 20 betting companies operating in Ghana. More companies are set to start their operations in the coming months as word spreads about the potentials of the market.
The operators will also be encouraged by the relatively liberal betting regulations in Ghana.
Ghana does not have the tightest betting laws, but that will likely change in the coming years when the government wakes up to the enormous revenue potential of a better-regulated gambling industry.
That notwithstanding, online sports betting is definitely here to stay. The main driving forces- mobile phones, the internet, and mobile money- are on a perennially upward trend, pulling online sports betting along with them.