The iGaming industry underwent significant changes in 2018 and this year will be no different. The iGaming landscape is constantly evolving, providing tremendous opportunities for operators, affiliates and players alike. With interest in untapped markets rising, new gaming verticals emerging in new territories and major legal and regulatory changes, 2019 is already looking to be quite exciting.

The new year is a chance to set new goals and achieve greater success, and one way for affiliates to capitalise on this is to target new markets.

The promise and potential of African iGaming

The European affiliate market, particularly the United Kingdom, has been the core focus in online gaming for years now. However, with maturity also comes an environment with increased saturation and competition, making it difficult for affiliates to stand out.

After ICE Africa in October 2018, the very first time ICE has extended their conference beyond its home in London, UK, there is no question that Africa is one of, if not the, next big market in iGaming. According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s Gambling outlook report, the industry’s projected growth rate is at over 5%, reaching nearly R35 billion ($US 2.5 billion) by 2021 in South Africa alone.

The industry’s projected growth rate is at over 5%, reaching nearly R35 billion ($US 2.5 billion) by 2021 in South Africa alone.

According to a different survey by Geopoll, lotteries are the most popular form of gambling in South Africa, while countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda are seeing a surge in sports-betting, with Kenya taking the lead in this vertical. Above all, African millennials’ preferred method for engaging with iGaming products is through their mobile phones. This all supports the narrative of sub-Saharan Africa representing great opportunity for the iGaming industry.

Post-PASPA climate in the United States

With the Supreme Court’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, affiliates have started devising strategies for their entry into the US market. According to a study by H2, the US sports-betting market is predicted to become the world’s third-largest, growing bigger than established markets like the UK and Italy by 2023. Several states have already established land-based sportsbooks and affiliates can soon expect these sportsbooks to offer online betting options. Corresponding affiliate programmes should follow soon after.

According to a study by H2, the US sports-betting market is predicted to become the world’s third-largest, growing bigger than established markets like the UK and Italy by 2023.

Michigan and Pennsylvania have each launched successful iLottery affiliate programmes, with the latter expanding their product offering to casino and poker. There is tremendous excitement around the US iGaming market post-PASPA, for all iGaming verticals, which affiliates should start preparing for if they haven’t already.

Re-regulation of the Swedish market

Sweden has been the most important ‘grey market’ in Europe with regards to the iGaming industry. Going from a grey market to a regulated one, Sweden is sure to influence other European countries throughout the new year.

As of January 1st, any operator wanting to target Sweden (sports-betting, poker, casinos, bingo) will require a license. While the new legislation may push some operators out of the market, it also creates opportunities as affiliates who target Sweden can leverage the importance of safety and trust when attracting players.

Affiliates who are willing to harness the potential of the African, US and Swedish/Scandinavian markets ahead of others can gain competitive advantage, with a long-term strategy in place. What are your thoughts? What other iGaming markets do you think affiliates should target in 2019? Comment below.