In Tanzania, taxes collected from gaming companies are expected to increase by 18 percent in Fiscal Year 2017/2018. The expected growth is reportedly due to an increase in the number of gaming companies involved in the subsector.

G3Newswire reports that the East African country’s regulator for sports gaming, the Gaming Board of Tanzania (GBT), has projected that from the expected growth, Sh39 billion up from the Sh33.6 billion collected in the prior fiscal year, could be collected by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

James Mbalwe, GBT acting director general, reportedly said that in the past three years the number of gaming companies in Tanzania had increased from five to 26. “We are optimistic of increased revenues as currently there are four foreign and local companies that have shown interest in Tanzania. All the processes have already been completed with only a few issues remaining to be ironed out. We’re optimistic that in the next year they will begin their operations,” said Mbalwe.

The accessibility of online betting has given rise to increased interest in sports gaming by investors over that of casinos, Mbalwe said, adding that in the last fiscal year, sports betting revenues reached Sh7.8 billion.

According to the Gaming Board of Tanzania, casino gambling was a leading category until Fiscal Year 2015/16, but sports betting took over in 2016/17. The board’s data reportedly show that in the last fiscal year, sports betting recorded 17.9 billion in tax revenue compared to casino’s 9.8 billion for the same time frame, followed by SMS lottery 7.4 billion, Slots Operations 1.5 billion and 40 Machine Site 278.8 million.

However, Mbalwe was reportedly quick to make mention that casino gaming was faring well in the market notwithstanding the exponential growth in sports betting, according to the news agency.

With a combined population of 1.26 billion people, Africa is the world’s second most-populous continent and gambling is becoming a popular activity there. Tanzania is one of the countries where gambling’s popularity has skyrocketed and has become a significant source of government revenue.