Why we are hosting Sports Betting summit in Nigeria, by Jordan Miles Crossley
Sports betting has become big business across Africa and as Nigeria hosts the 2017 Sports Betting West Africa Summit, Jordan Miles Crossley, Conference Producer SBWAS in this interview with our correspondent, Theresa Igata, says the industry is not about the opportunities but ‘opportunists’ taking advantage of what the industry offers to create opportunities for the future
How and what are the regulatory frameworks governing sports betting in Africa?
There are currently many different regulatory boards in Africa, each of whom governs their own jurisdictions. Some are local jurisdictions such as the Lagos State Lotteries Board and others are national regulators such as Ghana and Liberia.
In terms of frameworks, each nation has unique legislation. Therefore, individual attention needs to be given to the requirements of each country.
Harmonization in cross border regulation would be ideal and this will be discussed during the summit. Many jurisdictions in Africa are still grappling with putting in place appropriate regulatory framework to suit the peculiarity of their environment in a constantly evolving industry. Harmonisation and cross border regulation are not front burner issues at the moment though this does not preclude discussion.
Delegates will have the opportunity see a broader perspective of regulation in West Africa from the regulators themselves.
We’ve had instances where some people were not given their premium after successfully predicting a match. How can this be tackled going forward?
This is not a frequent occurrence as regulators take non-payment of winning seriously. However, in instances where this occurs, a number of factors come into play- technical issues, glitches on the platform and in some cases fraudulent practice by punters.
From my perspective, those punters were most likely placing bets in fraudulent betting operations. The issue of fraudulent betting operations will actually be addressed more in-depth at our BiG Africa Summit in November.
For the Sports Betting West Africa Summit, we have arranged for Emmanuel Ekpenyong to share his paper on money laundering prevention initiatives. We believe that fraud and corruption go hand-in-hand with money laundering.
If Illegal operations are operating illegally, then how are they getting the money out? More importantly, what can regulators and financial service providers do to cut criminal syndicates at their cash flow?
From what we’re expecting at the summit, do we see a problem with regulation, being that across the region (West Africa) we do not have a regulatory jurisdiction?
I personally don’t see a problem with the regulations West Africa has so far. Each nation is unique and requires individual thought when considering investment.
As conference organizers, we often see the power of bringing people together. Delegates from all different sectors of the gaming industry can offer advice on how to sustain and boost growth in the region.
Business owners who are considering branching out into other jurisdictions in West Africa can ask regulators all for advice in person. That’s why we are so passionate about what we do.
What opportunities do you see in the industry?
Well I would say it’s not about the opportunity, it’s all about the opportunist. Attending the Sports Betting West Africa is an opportunity, but it’s up to the opportunists out there who attend to create new opportunities in future.
Some of these opportunists include payment service providers such as SimplePay and VoguePay. Johnson Foye will be sharing his secrets on how online operators can make retail partnerships, and Oni Tope Michael will be offering solutions to operators for structuring deals outside the industry and many more.
How do we deal with the issue of hacking?
Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to give a professional opinion, as I am not a software developer. However, many of our exhibitors are tech wizards. They have developed secure software and hardware for operators to use and will provide the best answers. Hacking is a serious issue and it will definitely be addressed more in-depth at a later conference. For now, you can trust the service providers who have
What should we know about sports betting?
Sports’ betting is for people who are passionate about sport and who want to make some extra cash from their knowledge of the game. Africa is a place where sports is a way of life, so it’s only natural that it would be one of the fastest growing sectors in the African gaming industry.
Why come up with the summit?
If you are open to starting or sustaining your betting business, then the Sports Betting West Africa is the place to get started. It’s a gaming industry networking hub of the most prominent decision makers and solution providers who specifically work in the gaming sector from around the world.
That old saying still proves true today, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. We believe it’s a bit of both. The people you know have taught you everything you currently know, but only the right people can show you how to succeed and grow in this industry.