The Evolution of Sports Betting in Ghana

Sports betting has come a long way in Ghana, rising from humble beginnings to become the
beast that it is today.
Gambling, in its many guises, has always been in existence in the country from time
immemorial, but online sports betting has come in and changed the game.
At its infancy, sports betting was done largely at betting houses, with Ghanaian bettors flooding
these houses on a daily basis to place their bets.
Paper betting slips, better known as “tickets”, were a big deal back in the day, especially on
Saturdays. Ghanaian bettors would carry their tickets across the streets of Accra and Kumasi,
diligently ticking their correct predictions, and counting down to their big pay day as the matches
are being played.
Unfortunately, more often than not, the ticket will “cut” at some point. There is always that one
bad egg that will destroy the good work done by others!
Given Ghana’s love for football, sports betting was always going to catch on very quickly. The
lure of making money from betting on football matches was always too good to turn down.
The fact that we could bet with as low as GHS 1 also added to the appeal factor of sports
betting. While a large percentage of bets are unsuccessful, the relatively low cost of sports
betting, and the potential of a big win, is enough encouragement to most Ghanaian bettors.
Sports betting became simple, uncomplicated and very accessible to everyone.
Placing wagers in betting houses was popular, but online sports betting took the game to
another level.
Helped by the increasing mobile penetration in the country and better internet connection,
sports betting migrated from betting houses into the online space.
Bettors could now open betting accounts on their own, without the need of betting agents.
More importantly, they could now make deposits on online betting sites in Ghana.
Depositing money on betting sites is arguably the heart and soul of sports betting in the country,
and in the last few years, this has become bread and butter for Ghanaian players.
The advent of mobile money networks like MTN and Vodafone has played a huge role in this.
These payment systems have become very popular in Ghana, used by almost everyone to send
and receive money; and settle all sorts of bills.

Unsurprisingly, betting operators have also jumped on the mobile money wagon, with many of
them having MTN as their No. 1 payment option. 
The shift to online sports betting has also made it a lot easier for more betting operators to enter
the country. The industry has blossomed in the last few years, with over 20 companies now
operating in Ghana.
While some operators still retain the brick-and-mortar shops, majorly for brand visibility, many of
them have opted to bypass the logistical and financial challenges of this option.
All they now worry about is having a quality online service so that they can attract and convert
Ghana’s large internet population to their sites.
With the industry showing absolutely zero signs of showing down, fans of online sports betting
are in for a fantastic ride in the coming years!

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