Africa’s flourishing gaming industry is expected to expand even further with countries across the continent driving key measures to capitalize on emerging sectors and authorities keen to discuss the direct and indirect investment opportunities ahead.
This is according to Amne Suedi, Principal at Shikana Law Group, a law firm operating within East Africa and based in Kenya and Tanzania.
“As a lawyer specialising in investment in Africa and being very active in the gaming industry in Africa, I think this is an investment area that has a lot of potential to grow further and to have an even bigger impact on the countries that welcome this type of investment in terms of job creation and of course the revenues that can be collected by the tax/government authorities,” she said in a statement issued this week.
Suedi was speaking ahead of the inaugural edition of an event dubbed ICE Africa that will be held this October. The affair is set to provide regulators and operators with an ideal platform to discuss the growing gaming market.
She noted that governments in Africa can leverage a lot more on this industry, as they can divert the earnings into development of sports and entrepreneurship centres, among other activities.
Suedi believes that despite the industry’s vast potential, there is still room for improvement.
“The East African market is very exciting in terms of opportunities but also the regulatory space is ever changing as legislators try and keep up with technology. Representing companies in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda I can say that these markets are smaller than say the Nigerian market, however with an immense growth potential. Definitely, there is room for coming in and making a mark,” she said.
Suedi believes that recent legislative changes in Tanzania and Kenya and imminent ones in Uganda should not dissuade investors.
“There is always room for engaging with legislators and with planning on a sound, reasonable strategy, investors can achieve legislations that are not perfect (that does not exist), but which are balanced and at least meet their investment requirements half way,” she explained.
“It has worked in other sectors, so there is no reason it cannot work in gaming,” said Suedi.
She stated that the East African gaming market is open to new investors and welcoming to anyone with a plan and a passion for the industry.
Suedi said the type of investors in East Africa are not typical household names in gaming like Ladbrokes, GVC Holdings, but more entrepreneurs who are going into gaming for the first time in Africa because of the market and huge potential for returns.
Suedi pointed out that it is a mistake when investors feel like they can use the same capital and business model in Kenya as in Tanzania or Uganda since all these markets are very different.
“For example, investing and launching mobile gaming in Uganda would be most likely a disappointment since retail gaming is what is preferred by the Ugandan punters. However, retail is becoming less and less in markets like Tanzania. Of course, there are capital requirements and I always get surprised when certain foreign investors feel like they can invest $50,000 in gaming and get phenomenal ROIs while they are ready to invest at least $1 million in their home countries,” she elaborated.
“I think a lot of people have to change their perception about investments in Africa. Like everywhere else in the world, if you want excellence you have to pay the price. It is not any different in Africa,” said Suedi.