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Gia Janashvili Talks About Emerging iGaming Market in Africa




The iGaming business is fast expanding its boundaries and entering new markets, owing to a growing demand for remote gaming. As far as online gambling and sports betting go, Africa is one of the major untapped markets.

Developers, investors, and iGaming solutions companies are slowly realizing the growth potential and are taking steps to explore the sizable market potential.

Gia Janashvili has years of experience helping local iGaming brands understand their potential clients and reach targeted audiences.

We conducted a short interview with Gia Janashvili, who shared his thoughts on the budding African iGaming marketplace and what that means for users and gaming providers.

Pan-African iGaming Market Growth Potential

Africa, as a whole, has seen an economic upturn in recent years. Mobile devices and Internet access are quickly becoming affordable commodities to millions. In fact, one statistic shows African internet users in 2019 accounted for 11.5% of all internet users.

Africa, particularly the Sub-Saharan region, has a relatively liberal stance toward the practice of online betting and casino gambling. This has created an opportunity for investors and developers to provide turnkey gaming services to millions. South Africa has the largest iGaming sector, followed by countries like Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya.

One nation investors have fixed their eyes on lately is the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). Gia Janashvili is a majority shareholder in Paridirect, an online casino, and sports betting portal catering to the Congo-Brazzaville market. In an interview, he explained what led him and VeliServices – the iGaming solutions company he co-founded – to throw their support behind this brand.

“Africa has untapped potential for growth in the iGaming sector,” said Janashvili. “But investors usually look for steady markets like South Africa and Nigeria, disregarding peripheral countries like the Republic of Congo, not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Despite a population of just 5.5 million, Janashvili believes countries like the Congo provide a real opportunity for those with the right business-to-client approach.

Challenges Facing iGaming Providers

Success in a market as small as Congo has its challenges. For comparison, South Africa has a population of 60 million and Nigeria is around 215 million. Both make the Republic of Congo seem very small in contrast.

“The market size is considerably smaller than competing markets in South Africa and Nigeria,” said Janashvili. Cybersecurity also poses an issue due to the increase in internet users. However, according to Janashvili’s VeliServices, “data is the new gold,” and there’s still gold to be struck even in these markets.

“Our B2B2C business model enables our clients to reach targeted audiences using a personalized approach,” said Janashvili. He voices that success in the iGaming industry in any market entails learning what users need and how they behave so the gaming provider can offer more customizable solutions.

VeliServices Enters African iGaming Industry

Providers need resources to conduct market analyses, which usually entail sizable investments in unfamiliar waters. The goal of VeliServices is to create a bridge between gaming brands and their targeted users in a specific region. Janashvili argues every market is different and requires providers the right approach to connect with users.

VeliServices is an all-in-one package that provides turnkey solutions to gaming businesses to conduct data analyses and better understand the market. His platform offers data security, analytics, and anti-fraud machine learning tools that allow operators to gain a foothold in a given market and expand. is a relatively new project catering to the market in the Republic of Congo. Janashvili, who is a shareholder in Paridirect, indicates he and his company aim to lay the foundations of what could potentially be a lucrative and engaging market akin to the ones in Kenya or Uganda.

Legal Status of Online Gambling and Sports Betting in Africa

Another reason for the fast expansion of the African iGaming scene is the relaxed legislation on gambling and sports betting. South Africa is possibly the only African nation with a booming iGaming sector with predefined online casino gambling and sports betting laws. Other countries have limited regulation or lack legislation that defines the rules of interactive gaming. Oddly, a lack of clear regulation can also cause issues itself. Janashvili believes local governments could be impelled to take action to create a legal framework if they see a rise in investments in the industry.

“Right now, you have many African markets that are unregulated,” he says, adding that this could expose users and operators alike to fraud and cyber-criminal. “If investors shift focus to smaller markets, local legislatures could prompt a more robust position on gambling regulation.”

Final Thoughts

Clearly iGaming’s potential for growth is impressive. With so many untapped markets around the globe, there should be no question as to the future of the industry. Expansion into these untapped markets is the next phase for the sector and Africa is at the top of many investor’s priorities. Gia Janashvili and VeliServices stand poised to tap the potential of the Republic of Congo, but it only leads to the question: What other untapped markets in sub-saharan Africa can be opened for iGaming?


Authorities destroy illegal gambling machines in South Africa



Authorities destroy illegal gambling machines in South AfricaReading Time: 1 minute

The Limpopo Gambling Board in South Africa has seized and destroyed 100 illegal gambling machines from local shops.

Chairman of the board Elijah Tjiane said: “The serious crimes we’re witnessing in the country start with illegal machines operating in local shops. They then go to drugs and later graduate to other heavy crimes.”

Tjiane said the R500 fine illegal gambling operaters got was too little.

“We wish lawmakers could come up with a fine that will fit the crime the person has committed.”

Limpopo Economic Development MEC Seaparo Sekoati said illegal gambling was crippling businesses which operated by the book.

He said destroying the illegal machines would assist in reducing crime in the province.

“The work done by the board’s law enforcement unit, working closely with police in tackling illegal and harmful economic activities, is outstanding. Our law enforcement officers confiscated 101 gambling machines which were collected from various spaza shops in and around our communities.

“Illegal gambling outlets have a negative impact on our economy.

“Such unregistered and underground operations do not adhere to the tax legislation of the country,” said Sekoati.

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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Chandler to tap Kenyan market



Chandler to tap Kenyan marketReading Time: 1 minute

Victor Chandler (67), the veteran gambling entrepreneur who founded BetVictor, is setting his eyes on the Kenyan market. His African betting business wing BetLion is targeting Kenya and Tanzania for potential expansion.

The company is already working on online betting project with FSBTech in Uganda.

Kenya and Tanzania are the next targets. BetLion will face strong competition in the Kenya market. There are 36 licensed operators are currently active in the country.

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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South Africa accepts new gambling bill



South Africa accepts new gambling billReading Time: 1 minute

South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry has adopted the redrafted National Gambling Amendment Bill.

Joanmariae Fubbs, the chairperson of the Committee, said although the Department of Trade and Industry had introduced a comprehensive Bill, the committee had resolved to deal with three technical issues only to address existing governance challenges speedily. The three issues are the following: the reconfiguration of the National Gambling Board to the National Gambling Regulator; addressing governance challenges relating to the National Gambling Policy Council; and broadening the National Central Electronic Monitoring System.

She added that other important issues, such as horse racing, dog racing, electronic bingo terminals, betting on lottery results and online gaming, have been considered and is being referred for consideration in the Sixth Parliament. There was not enough time to address and study all the issues. Therefore, the committee is of the view that these amendments, adopted today, will pave the way for more comprehensive and holistic amendments to the gambling regulatory framework, said Ms Fubbs.

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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