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Is South Africa iGaming’s Next Hot Market?

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Industry experts are calling South Africa the next Brazil after its iGaming market has been on a tear recently, achieving tremendous growth. Analysts keep increasing revenue predictions, and now the consensus is that $70 million by 2028 is likely. 

South Africa Has Provincial Licensing

Similar to the US, where states regulate online gambling, in South Africa it’s the job of provincial governments. There are nine provincial regulatory authorities who are tasked with issuing licenses and monitoring local operators. However, all provincial gaming authorities must adhere to the National Gambling Board’s framework. The provincial bodies can issue licenses for online casinos and sports betting.

National legislation prevents online gambling nationwide. However, some provincial gaming authorities have increased the available betting options, which has led to a significant uptick in revenue. South Africans now have more competitive fixed-odds betting options. 

Sports Betting Is a Key Driver of iGaming Growth

South Africa has a long sporting tradition and fields world-class rugby and cricket teams, while soccer is by far the most popular sport in the country. MMA and esports are experiencing tremendous growth, especially among young people in the African nation. 

With millions of sports fans, it’s no surprise that online sports betting has caught on in South Africa. The current South African iGaming market is worth $55.5, and almost half of this revenue comes from sports betting.

Traditionally, horse racing was the most popular sports betting market in South Africa, but times have changed. Football is now the top market, while MMA and esports are growing rapidly. Horse racing betting remains popular with bettors 50 years and older.

Esports is the market with the most potential in South Africa. According to a YouGov survey in 2021, 51% of South Africans are interested in betting on Esports. This is unusual, as you don’t think of South Africa as an esports-obsessed country, but more South Africans are interested in esports betting than Americans, Brazilians, Mexicans, Brits, and Indians.

What Online Casino Games Do South Africans Prefer?

The most popular online casino games in South Africa are crash games, which is slightly surprising as, in most countries, slots reign supreme. In crash games, you select a bet size and then watch a multiplier coefficient increase. Your task is to hit the cashout button before the game crashes. If you tap the cashout button in time, you win the multiplier coefficient displayed on the screen.

The popularity of crash games in South Africa suggests players prefer fast-paced action and are looking for simple games. Also, the potential for large wins from a single round may make the game appealing to South African players, who typically wager significantly less than players from countries like Australia, Canada, and the US.

South African players also enjoy classic casino games, including roulette, blackjack, and slots. Live dealer games haven’t caught the attention of South African players the way they have in other markets, but this could be an emerging trend in the future.

Mobile Gaming Is Set to Explode in South Africa

Only about 33% of South Africa’s population has a smartphone, this is compared to the US, where 90% of people have one. This number is set to rise rapidly over the next 10 years, with experts predicting 60%+ of the population having a smartphone by 2030. 

At the same time, mobile internet penetration is set to rise in South Africa to 92% by 2030. Mobile data is becoming significantly cheaper in South Africa, and locals are experiencing wage increases. In 2024 alone, average wages are set to rise by 6.1%.

With all of these factors coming together, more South Africans will be spending hours and hours glued to their phones browsing the internet like Westerners. It’s inevitable that they’ll turn to mobile gaming as a source of entertainment. Mobile sports betting and online casinos will enjoy a massive spike in users over the next 10 years in South Africa.

The South African iGaming market is still in its early stages but is already experiencing impressive growth. With a population of 60 million and a median age of 27, there’s no reason why South Africa’s market can’t rival the likes of the UK over the next 20 years!

Read More: Six Nations Tournament Set for Expansion?

As an avid enthusiast of technological innovation and the thrilling intersection of machinery and athleticism, I proudly consider myself a steadfast supporter of Machina Sports, advocating for its growth, celebrating its pioneers, and contributing to the vibrant community that shares a passion for the future of sports.

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CS:GO Skins: A Digital Goldmine in the World of Video Gaming

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Inside the Economy of Illusion

Let’s talk about something wild.

If you have ever dreamt of making money out of your gaming hobby — you have probably turned towards livestreaming, social media or professional e-sports gaming.

Those are the usual suspects, anyway.

But there’s one class of investment that CS:GO has revolutionised — Skins. For an untrained eye skins were always just a gadget, something to make a person feel special, different than anyone else. But what if I told you that there are skins that go for tens of thousands of dollars?

And how You can make money on it?

How A Few Pixels Could Go For Such

Well, even before NFTs became a thing CS:GO was already making some hard cash

Back in 2013, the folks at Valve decided to spice up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by dropping something called the “Arms Deal” update. And just like that, CS:GO skins were born. Think of skins as the ultimate gaming fashion statement. They don’t make you shoot faster or hide better (well, nowadays some of them have other perks on top), but they do make your weapons look epic.

And also make you extremely recognisable. Especially if you are a streamer on top of that, which can essentially boost the price.

Here’s where it gets interesting: these flashy skins quickly turned into something more than just digital swag. Imagine finding a digital sneaker in your game, only to discover it’s worth a small fortune in real life. That’s what happened with skins. They became a big deal, trading on the Steam marketplace like rare baseball cards.

The Wild West of Skins Trading

Beyond the official Steam marketplace, there’s an entire underground scene. It’s a bustling bazaar where skins are the main currency, and the rules of the game are decided by the players themselves. Here, a skin isn’t just a pretty accessory; it’s a ticket to the big leagues of virtual investment. Want to gamble, bet, or invest? Skins can do that. Ever heard of a gun skin selling for thousands? Yeah, it happens.

Examples? FuturePlay is now hosting a Dragon Lore AWP CS:GO Tournament and Giveaway, with a grand prize skin worth over $13,000. This tournament lasts till 15th June. Giving you an opportunity to enter the world of CS:GO investments easily.

But that’s not the only way of entering this investment world.

This phenomenon turned gamers into the Wall Street traders of the virtual world. They’re wheeling and dealing, making bold moves, and sometimes, making a killing out of their virtual inventory. It’s part startup hustle, part digital treasure hunt, and entirely a 21st-century phenomenon.

The Ripple Effects of a Gamer’s Gold Rush

But let’s get real for a second. The rise of the CS:GO skins economy isn’t just a cool story about gamer riches; it’s also a look into what we value. Digital or not, these skins mean something to people, to the extent they’re willing to pay real money for them. It’s a new way of looking at what ownership and value mean in the digital age.

Of course, with big money comes big questions — about legality, ethics, and above all, what it means for the future. It’s stirred up a lot of debates and made us rethink how virtual economies should operate.

What Lies Ahead

Is it going to have its up adn downs like the NFT market?

I’ll guess the answer is simply: no.

The CS:GO Skins market has been only frowing since 2012 (12 years now!) and it’s a stable market for investors and colectors.

As we dive headfirst into the future, CS:GO skins are more than just a lesson in digital economics; they are a symbol of gaming’s power to blur the lines between the virtual and the real. For players, traders, and curious onlookers, the economy of CS:GO skins is a playground of opportunity, a slice of the digital frontier where the thrills of gaming meet the realities of economics.

It’s a wild ride, and it shows just how far we’ve come in redefining what it means to be valuable. So next time you snag that rare skin in a game, remember, it might just be your golden ticket.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Want to know about the future play? Check us out!

Join the tournament and grab your chance to win a CS:GO Skin worth 13.000$

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Casino & Games

France May Legalize Online Casinos in 2024 or 2025

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France to legalize Online Casinos

France is one of the only EU countries which has a ban on online casino games. Currently, French players are restricted to sports betting and online poker. The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) has been putting pressure on the French authorities to liberalize the market. They argue that bans are ineffective as locals don’t stop playing; they instead opt for black market casinos.

By legalizing online casinos, the French government could tap into a new tax base while protecting players from unregulated offshore sites. According to research from the French gambling authority l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), French players are generating up to €1.5 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) per year for illegal casinos. Incredibly, France’s regulated gambling revenue sits at €3 billion. 

The tax rate on GGR for sports betting is 33.8%, and 36.7% for online poker. If you apply a similar potential rate for online casinos, France is missing out on over €500,000,000 in taxes. We’re sure the French government could find worthy causes to channel such a significant sum to.

Demand for Online Casinos Is Strong in France

The ban on online casinos in France has completely failed. In fact, the average French bettor spends $300 per year on online gambling. The market is expected to grow 7.2% annually for the next five years. The regulated market alone will be worth €10 billion, if the ANJ regulates online casinos, this number could double.

As many as three million French players frequent online casinos at least once a week. The most played games are slot machines and roulette which are currently completely banned by the ANJ. 

However, French players have no issues getting around the bans. Many users use free VPNs or simply play at offshore casinos that don’t conduct any verification. The rise of cryptocurrency has helped offshore casinos thrive as money can be sent around the world within seconds without financial institutions. Casinos also don’t have to worry about chargebacks.

It’s not just potential revenue that the authorities are missing out on. The lack of legal options is also placing local gamblers at risk. Due to France’s online casino prohibition, players find themselves at unregulated sites where there’s a lack of responsible gaming tools and little legal recourse if something goes wrong. There are far too many stories of players being stiffed by sites or lured in with fake bonuses.

The EGBA believes France should legalize and regulate online casinos in the same fashion that the country has already regulated online sports betting. France can look to the United Kingdom, which has been a pioneer when it comes to legalized online casinos and draw inspiration from their regulations.

French Lawmakers Still Mulling Over Lifting the Ban

At the end of 2023, there were rumors that the ANJ would allow French gambling sites to offer casino-style games like blackjack and slots. The government said it was considering allowing established land-based casinos to offer online versions of their games. However, nothing has changed, and no new pieces of legislation have been created.

France is also attempting to regulate blockchain gaming. It’s specifically focusing on play-to-earn games where you earn in-game tokens and cryptocurrencies, which can be traded and sold. The government is supportive of such games but wants to establish rules for the new style of gaming.

Potentially, after the French parliament has wrapped its mind around crypto gaming, it’ll turn its attention to online casinos. There’s still a slim hope that French players will be playing slots at local online casinos in 2024, but 2025 is more realistic. 

In the meantime, black market sites will continue to benefit from the ANJ’s ban as it fruitlessly continues to block gambling sites. According to a recent report, up to 50% of black market website traffic in France is to betting sites; don’t expect that figure to drop anytime soon, as the French clearly like their online casino games.

The ANJ hasn’t adapted to the times. Apart from Cyprus, France is the only EU country where online casinos, including slot machines, are strictly banned. If France wants to protect local players, generate up to €500,000,000 in additional taxes, and get in line with the rest of the EU, it’s time to finally legalize online casinos.

Read more: It’s Official Legal Sports Betting & iGaming Is Coming to Brazil!

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iGaming

Gaming Revenue Continues to Grow in Las Vegas

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Las Vegas, Nevada

February 2024 was a big month for gaming operators in Nevada as revenue surpassed all expectations and broke a record. According to reports from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), the total gaming revenue for February was $1.34 billion. This is the best February Nevada operators have ever experienced and the fifth-best month of all time.

This February’s boom is largely the result of the Super Bowl, with tens of thousands of people descending on Las Vegas to watch the game, place a bet or two, and soak up the party atmosphere. This is the very first time Sin City has hosted the biggest event in sports, so it’s not surprising that Nevada resorts saw a sharp uptick in gaming revenue.

Chinese New Year also went down in February, and a number of Chinese high rollers flew in for the occasion. These big-time players don’t blink when wagering six figures per hand during blackjack or baccarat. 

The only reason why Nevada didn’t set an all-time revenue record in February was because of the short month. If there had been 31 days, it would’ve been an even more impressive month. Compared to February 2023, revenue was 8.5% higher in 2024, and now there have been 36 months in a row with revenues of $1 billion or more.

Chinese New Year Causes Spike in Table Game Revenue

Chinese whales’ game of choice is baccarat, and they rarely play slot machines. February’s numbers reflected this preference. Across Nevada, table game revenue was up a huge 24%, while slot machine revenue only increased by 1%. Table game revenue saw an even bigger increase on the Las Vegas Strip, pulling in 30% more than compared to February 2023. 

With so many players in town for Chinese New Year, the baccarat tables were buzzing. Baccarat gaming revenue almost doubled and even brought in more winnings than blackjack.

Las Vegas Strip slots took a hit this February. Revenue was down 2.4% compared to last year. However, operators won’t mind, as increased table game revenue more than made up for the minor decline.

Sports Betting Also Sees a Bump in February

With the Super Bowl in town, it’s to be expected that sports betting would also get a bump in February. Sports betting revenue in Nevada was up 10% compared to last year. Some analysts were predicting a bigger increase, however, many players now prefer betting online. Instead of making the trip to Nevada players preferred betting from their home state and watching the game from their couch.

February was an incredible month for Nevada, and it came very close to breaking the all-time record gaming revenue. Operators probably wish that every Super Bowl was held in Las Vegas and every day was Chinese New Year!

Nevada Gambling Revenue Crosses the $15 Billion Mark

It wasn’t just February that proved to be a good period for Nevada operators, 2023 was the best-ever year for gaming revenue. Last year, Nevada’s gaming revenue hit $15.52 billion, up 4.6% from last year.

Slots were the biggest contributor to overall gaming revenue, bringing in $10.28 billion. Multi-denomination slot machines generated $5.97 billion, while penny slots brought in $3.15 billion in revenue.

Nevada Mobile Sports Betting Revenue Hits $250 Million 

Mobile sports betting has proved a big hit with players and was responsible for 50% of total sports betting revenue in Nevada. In 2023, football was the most popular sport to bet on, generating $157.9 million in revenue. In close second was basketball, bringing in $133.5 million in yearly revenue. Rounding out the top three was baseball, with $93.2 million in revenue. Hockey generated $19.0 million, and other sports contributed $69.3 million.

Baccarat Revenue Exceeds $1 Billion

2023 was also a fantastic year for table games, pulling in $5.24 billion in revenue. This represents an 8.5% increase compared to 2022. Baccarat was the top-performing table game, responsible for $1.49 billion in revenue, a 28% increase from 2022. Blackjack had a flat year, up just 0.8%. However, the card game still generated $1.33 billion in revenue, just behind baccarat.

Nevada’s fantastic run is continuing into 2024, and economists’ predictions of a soft landing look to be coming true, at least in Nevada. There are no signs of slowing down, and operators are on track to break the yearly gaming revenue record again! 

Read More: US iGaming Come Together to Form Responsible Online Gaming Association

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