Crucial Compliance hails spirit of Africa after successful campaign
Gibraltar-based gambling and gaming consultancy, AML and risk specialists Crucial Compliance, have returned from a successful first foray into the African continent hailing the region ‘a land of opportunity.’
Whilst many foreign operators are targeting the region with their brands, Crucial is the first organisation in the sector to step foot on African soil with the aim of preventing gambling harm and spreading gambling addiction awareness amongst communities.
Crucial Compliance CEO Paul Foster visited Rwanda and South Africa to launch a series of ‘Safe Gambling Hackathons,’ an innovative and dynamic format designed to capture ideas from local talent and entrepreneurs about how to combat gambling harms - forums which were well attended and featured CEOs of betting firms, government officials, regulators and the general public.
There is a pressing need for Africa’s growing underbelly of gambling harms to be tackled, as Africa News reported in 2022 that “gamblers and experts say many punters see Africa's growing sports betting industry as a source of regular income, and a possible path out of poverty” (Africa News, 2022), with a South African government survey from 2017 even finding that “sports betting grew 14% per year from 2008 to 2016, even as the number of South Africans who gambled fell from 57% to a third of the country’s adult population”, which indicates that although fewer people gambled, the amounts they spent are much higher. This targeting and influx in the region are exactly why Crucial Compliance want to protect players, by not only introducing operators to their own products and services, but by also investing in and incubating new ideas from those in the region itself, showing a commitment to the community surrounding this market sector.
Over 100 professionals attended two events hosted by Crucial, in Kigali and Johannesburg, with successful collaborations formed with betting operators, Regulator teams and local government. As part of its expansion strategy, Crucial will be following through with its commitment to globalise its offering and will be extending its work throughout the African continent further.
Paul Foster, chief executive officer of Crucial Compliance said: ‘Whilst many people might think that stepping into Africa was a venture into the unknown, we had already analysed the research and emerging trends showing that in popular culture, there can be unhealthy attitudes to gambling across Africa and we invested our time and resource in exploring both Rwanda and South Africa as, from our initial engagement, these countries expressed most openness and willingness to lead the change in terms of industry attitudes and player protection. We are excited about the prospect of making a real change in the region and working with local charities, government and operators in having a positive impact on the whole of society. We will be holding further Hackathon events in Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa in April and invite anyone with an interest in reducing gambling related harm to come along and join the conversation.’
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