The first-ever ICE Gaming Convention hosted outside of the United Kingdom kicked off today. ICE Africa brings together industry professionals from across 91 countries to the Sandton Convention Centre. The convention runs until 25 October.
Director of Global Gaming Africa and ICE Africa ambassador John Kamara said this convention will begin the growth of gaming on the continent in a more organised manner. Kamara believes that Africa is perfectly positioned in the growth of the gaming industry. “I believe that we are currently in the eye of a beautiful storm and the ability to attract the right investment is part of the objective that we should all work together to achieve,” he said.
Africa and Her Gaming Ambitions
Kamara also highlighted what he wants the convention to achieve over the past two days and beyond for the continent. “I want ICE Africa to be a place where investors come and find opportunities, where operators learn how to grow their business, and where we provide an educational warehouse for the industry going forward,” he said.
The convention will be looking the long-term growth of gaming, responsible gaming, and investment in other gaming sectors and gaming education. Also it wants to improve data collection that will help the industry, policy makers, and governments across Africa.
It is a unique case where it has some regions with an established gaming industry alongside emerging industries. According to auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) outlook report on gambling, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Uganda, Namibia, and Zimbabwe expect a growth in their respective gaming industries. Alternatively, South Africa is the continent’s most established and popular gambling destination. The industry itself is worth more than R23 billion and contributes R26.9 billion into the economy.
Tapping into the Continent’s Investment Opportunities
Gaining access to the right investment opportunities can be difficult to navigate, especially if investors are unfamiliar with the market. Kamara said those looking to get into Africa’s gaming industry will need to adapt and appreciate the African experience. “Africa presents its own unique opportunities as well as challenges that you don’t find in Europe or America… Being successful requires operators to appreciate the African experience and understand that their thought process need to change: they should be willing to learn about the diversities that make the continent unique.” He added that finding a local partner in the market will help them enter the gaming market.