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Gibraltar-based compliance consultancy Crucial Compliance will expand into Africa as it looks to improve responsible gambling processes on the continent.

What’s the problem?

In a press release, the company made clear its intention to “tackle Africa’s cultural and systemic problems” which have led to “unprofitable and unsustainable” gaming in the region.

According to Crucial Compliance, problem gambling awareness is lacking in Africa, especially in comparison to other markets in Europe and America, where regimes are “vigorously working to satisfy shareholders, governments and regulators”.

Crucial Compliance CEO Paul Foster said these unsustainable gaming practices had contributed to an “underbelly of addiction” that had fallen under the radar in certain countries.

Crucial Compliance: “We vow to tackle Africa’s cultural and systemic problems which lead to unprofitable and unsustainable gaming and which contribute to an underbelly of addiction which they say in some markets has gone completely under the radar.”

“Crucial Compliance is focused on changing the industry one operator at a time,” said Foster.

“This should not just be within established regulatory markets, but include those with high growth where gambling-related harm could be more prevalent.

“Having looked at the rapidly growing African gambling markets, we recognised that our support could make a difference.

“We have therefore committed time and resource to try and make a change to protect those most vulnerable of players,” he added.

What can be done?

The business will this month host a series of safer gambling hackathons to bring together stakeholders, including operators, the government, and those affected by gambling harm.

The intention of the hackathons is to create solutions that can impact African countries by influencing positive policy amendments and better regulatory regimes.

With partners across Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa, Crucial Compliance is working alongside strategic consultancy Adam Bradford Agency to implement an action plan.

What does the data say?

A study from Nigeria’s National Centre for Problem Gambling and National Research Council found that 36% of respondents had gambled and that 53% of those respondents were also daily gamblers, while approximately 8% of the country’s population has struggled with gambling problems.

The interactive hackathons will take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 31 January and in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 3 February 2023.

The African online gambling market was seen as “an opportunity too big to ignore” last year as major operators including 888 and Betsson expanded their operations in various countries.

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