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SBEA+ 2023 Summit Sheds Light at East African Betting and Gaming Industry

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The 8th Annual Edition of Sports Betting East Africa+ Summit (SBEA+) kicked off with a bang, showcasing a vibrant and innovative atmosphere as sports betting leaders from around the world gathered to explore new horizons in the East African betting and iGaming landscape.

The first day of the two-day summit was filled with captivating discussions, valuable insights, and promising business opportunities.

Thomas Buckley Opar Owuor, Chairperson of SBEA+ 2023, warmly welcomed esteemed industry leaders, both local and international, and expressed his anticipation for the enriching experience ahead. The summit began with a thought-provoking keynote address by Denis Mudene, the acting CEO of the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board of Uganda.

Mudene shed light on the recent gambling tax hike in Uganda, clarifying that the 30% tax would not apply to sports betting but rather to slots and online casinos.

The panel discussions commenced with Najib Balinda, Chief Business Development Officer of Genius Gaming Consult, moderating a conversation comparing the African and European markets and discussing how to appeal to their respective player demographics. Panelists Emily Asava, Alessandro Pizzolotto, and Gregg Rathbone shared valuable insights on payment methods, localization, and adapting to player behavior in East Africa.

It will take some time to embody the card system. I would say that mobile money is working, so why go into the card system? When you discover what is working, maximise that and move forward.

Emily AsavaSales Manager at TVBET

Additionally, Pizzolotto emphasized the importance of crash games in Africa.

You don’t need any specific knowledge to play them [crash games]. I would say for Africa, it is the new casinos, whereas in Europe you have Evolution, TVBet or older casinos. In Africa, crash games are the best.

Alessandro PizzolottoCo-founder and CEO at Stm Gaming

Valuable Insight into Key Markets

During networking breaks, participants explored the captivating exhibition floor, engaging in conversations centered around potential business deals and acquiring products to enhance operations in East Africa. Local experts provided valuable insights on localizing services to meet the unique needs of the East African market, while international sportsbooks showcased their offerings, expanding the range of service providers available.

The importance of player protection and responsible gaming took center stage in a panel discussion moderated by James Mpiirwe, a senior consultant from Genius Gaming Consult. The panelists, including Purity Wahiu, Duncan Ndegwa, Weldon Koros, and Denis Mudene, discussed strategies for improving awareness and responsible gaming initiatives. Mpiirwe emphasized the need for regulators to drive such initiatives, citing the lack of visibility of responsible gambling information on many websites and shops.

As the day progressed, Thomas Buckley Opar Owuor, the Chairperson of SBEA+ 2023, took the stage as the moderator for a discussion on innovative ways for gaming companies to succeed in the market. Edwin Tarrus, Brian Ondieki, and Samuel Ogechi shared their perspectives on business growth in the evolving gaming and betting industry. The final panel discussion of the day tackled the critical issue of match-fixing and illegal sports betting sites, exploring the underlying factors and discussing effective measures to combat these issues.

Closing Notes and Key Highlights

Closing the eventful day, Chairperson Thomas Buckley Opar Owuor delivered his closing remarks, summarizing the key highlights and expressing his heartfelt appreciation to all participants and speakers. Attendees were then treated to a networking drinks session sponsored by EI Networking, offering a relaxed atmosphere for industry professionals to foster connections and exchange ideas.

With the first day of SBEA+ 2023 coming to an end, the summit set a promising tone for the future of East Africa's betting and iGaming industry. As participants look forward to the second day, the stage is set for further exploration of groundbreaking ideas and transformative business strategies, propelling the region into new and uncharted territories.

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