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SBEA+ 2019 – Event Recap

SBEA+ 2019 was a success as industry experts covered key topics like the state of gambling in East Africa and adding sports betting into casinos.

12 April 2019, Johannesburg, South Africa/ Kampala, Uganda — Last week, Sports Betting East Africa + 2019 brought together stakeholders from across the continent to gain valuable insight into the greatest opportunities and challenges of operating a gaming business in East Africa.

Day One

After a warm welcome from the event chair – Judith Kiragu, SBEA+ 2019 was well underway. The first session by the CEO of the National Gaming Board of Uganda (Edgar Agaba) tackled the bad perception of gaming that some of the public have towards gambling in East Africa. He noted that non-compliance, illegal operations, and poor CSR and responsible gambling regimes make the industry look bad to the public.

Shortly after that, regulators from across East Africa discussed their most recent changes. Uganda and Tanzania agreed on many policies – namely that regulatory harmonization needs to happen soon in order to promote ease of investment from foreign investors. In the following discussion, operators addressed their concerns about high taxation, signage banning, and high age restrictions.

After a hearty lunch, attendees listened as Najib Balinda showed them how to get sports betting into casinos. The main takeaway is that bringing sports betting to casinos will keep players engaged for longer, and will give them more chances to win money to play at the casino. Next, Lasha Gogiberidze discussed the main entry barriers to the African market. These are Regulation and Culture, Infrastructure and Products.

Delegates then proceeded to networking events sponsored by Digitain and Jim’s Poker Room respectively. First attendees had drinks at the venue sponsored by Digitain then they proceeded to Jim’s Poker Room for a night for the Poker Tournament.

Day Two

The second day addressed many of the technical and operational challenges in the East African market. Affiliates and operators discussed the key differences between the affiliates and agents and they seemed to agree that both are effective in different business models and markets. Next, casino and sports betting professionals discussed the risks and rewards of VIP players. If you cover all the costs of having VIP players at your establishment, you can end up bearing high costs and receiving low returns, that’s why having a reward-based system is the most effective.

Catarina Marques from Clever Advertising then showed the audience the core principles of building a brand in the sports betting sector. A key take-away point was that a brand is not what you say about your company, it’s about how players feel about your company.

Software providers and operators then discussed the pros and cons of Omnichannel and multichannel. Omni-channel is easier for the customer as its one account with all their funds, either online or land-based, but multichannel can be better for the operator as it gives operators easily trackable performance data between online and land-based operations. The providers then discussed how to modernise products for African millennials. They noted that product education is a vital role in educating players but more than that, companies need to innovate new games to breathe new life into outdated areas of gaming such as casinos and lottery.



2020 and beyond

Eventus International now seeks to create even more engaging content for all stakeholders. We will be returning to East Africa in the next few months to conduct on-ground research and create content for the 2020 edition of Sports Betting East Africa.


Would you like to be part of SBEA+ 2020?

Contact us to find out more

Lou-Mari Burnett

Marketing Director

Eventus International


Phone: +27829075850


About SBEA 

The Sports Betting East Africa Summit (SBEA) was an all-round success for all who attended, spoke and exhibited. The event was extremely well- attended and supported by the gaming sectors most respected stakeholders from Africa and the world over.

With the addition of a new stream that includes casino, bingo and lottery, our new and improved SBEA+ 2019 aims to enhance the skills of the stakeholders who work in this sector, through sharing knowledge about the latest regulations, marketing techniques, cutting edge technologies and responsible gambling practices to ensure the long-term success of gaming in East Africa.

This year’s agenda has been developed to shed light on the newer opportunities and challenges facing the region – be they regulatory, operational or market related, whilst reporting progress on some of the heated discussions and debates that took place last year

Register for SBEA+:

Speakers and agenda:


The event is supported by CoinPoint Group Inc – a premium marketing agency, founded in 2013, working with businesses of all scales within the crypto space.

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