Is the Ghanaian Betting Industry Getting out of Control?

Is the Ghanaian Betting Industry Getting out of Control?

In the last few years, sports betting in Ghana has undergone a rapid ascent, with the west African nation now considered one of the top gambling nations on the continent.

Indeed, in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana has the fourth largest market. Only South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria boast bigger markets.

Ghana’s position in the top bracket of gambling nations comes despite having significantly less population than the countries around her.

Nigeria is far and away the most populous nation on the continent with over 200 million inhabitants, while Kenya and South Africa hover around the 50 – 60 million mark.

Ghana has just over 30 million people.

Ghana’s emergence as a top dog in the sports betting game is hinged on a rapidly improving technology industry, and perhaps more significantly, a booming mobile money market spearheaded by telecoms giants, MTN.

Kenya and Ghana are easily the biggest mobile money markets in Africa, with both also stationed in the top five in the world.

All of these have provided the perfect recipe for sports betting to thrive in the country.

But is the industry getting out of control?

Sports betting in Ghana, like all forms of gambling, is regulated by the Gaming Commission of Ghana, GCG.

Established in 2006, the GCG is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the gambling space in the country, ensuring that all operators play by the rules.

While the Commission has done a decent job in regulating the industry, the evidence on ground suggests that more needs to be done.

The laws are in place, but the implementation of these laws has left much more to be desired. It does appear as if the government is struggling to keep pace with the fast-moving world of sports betting.

Underage gambling, for example, remains a major issue in the country. The legal gambling age in Ghana is 18, but this age restriction is hardly followed in betting shops in Ghana, and certainly not on online betting sites.

With many kids now owning mobile devices, they can easily sign up on betting operators and start placing bets. Many bookmakers demand that customers should be at least 18 when they register on their sites, but they do very little to enforce this criterion.

Many kids simply falsify their dates of birth to scale this step.

Ghanaian bookmakers and regulators need to be better than this. Bookies must step up their verification processes, and ensure that customers produce legitimate identity documents before being allowed to play.

These ID documents must have their full names, pictures and most importantly, their dates of birth. This will go a long way in curbing the menace of under-age betting in Ghana.

Another issue bothering the Ghanaian betting scene is the proliferation of unregistered betting sites. Not only are the government losing valuable revenue from these illegal companies, the sites also pose plenty of risks to unsuspecting Ghanaian bettors. Since they are unregulated and unpoliced, they can easily get away with fraud and malpractices.

For the avoidance of doubt, if you are unsure of which betting companies are legal or not, you can find a list of the best legal bookies on My Betting Sites Ghana, the top betting affiliate site in the country.

Sports betting has been on an astronomic rise in Ghana in the last decade, and that trend is set to continue in the coming years.

The earlier the authorities grab the industry by the scruff of the next and clean it up, the better for Ghanaian players.


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