The online sports betting market in Ghana may not be as huge as that in continental rivals South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, but Ghana is definitely making a strong move up the ladder.
With over 20 betting companies now operating in Ghana, the West African nation is becoming a favourite destination for betting operators.
Within the last five years, foreign betting sites like Betway have picked up Ghanaian licenses, opening their doors to players from this country. These international companies now operate pretty much like Ghanaian sites, accepting cedis and mobile money deposits like MTN and Vodafone. They are now amongst the best betting sites in Ghana.
Sports betting and Ghana were always destined to form a great match. Ghanaians are naturally passionate about sports, especially football, and the chance to transform their passion and knowledge into money is the ultimate attraction of sports betting.
Some players bet for fun and entertainment but most Ghanaian bettors are motivated by the chance to make money from online sports betting.
The major catalyst behind the rise in sports betting has arguably been the rapidly improved financial inclusion in Ghana.
Like all businesses, the success of sports betting companies is heavily reliant on the ease of exchange of money between the operators and the bettors.
Thanks to mobile money, Ghanaian bettors can conveniently deposit money into their betting accounts and withdraw their winnings without any problems.
Mobile money has completely changed the face of financial transactions in Ghana.
The mobile money revolution in Ghana really kicked off in 2009, with telecoms giants, MTN becoming the first network to offer mobile services. Other companies like Vodafone and Airtel have since joined. MTN remains the biggest mobile money network in Ghana, and by a decent margin too.
Mobile money was a bit of a slow burner, with Ghanaians not immediately jumping on the concept, but over the last few years, it has undergone astronomical growth.
The Central Bank reports in its Summary of Macroeconomic and Financial Data report that the value of mobile money transactions shot up to GHS 83.8 billion in April from 32.8 billion the year earlier.
Also, the total number of transactions rose by 77 percent from 182 million to 323 million. Little wonder Ghana is regarded as the fastest-growing mobile money market in the entirety of Africa.
A sizable percentage of those transactions have come from online betting!
Mobile money cuts across both rural and urban communities in Ghana. The fact that money can be exchanged without the need for banks and internet connection makes mobile money accessible to almost everyone in the country.
This is one of the main reasons why Ghana has become such an attractive prospect for betting companies around the world.
The Ghanaian betting industry is still very much a developing market, but with the increasing ease of payments coupled with the improving digitization in the country, it will not be too long before Ghana starts seriously rubbing shoulders with some of the bigger players on the continent.