BUSINESS

Moroccan gambling monopolies celebrate strong 2016

TAGs: Morocco

morocco-gambling-industryMorocco’s gambling monopolies reported solid financial gains in 2016, continuing a hot streak that has seen the market grow more than one-third since 2013.

On Thursday, Casablanca-based economic daily La Vie Écho reported that Morocco’s gambling industry – not including its seven brick-and-mortar casinos – saw total betting turnover rise 6.65% to MAD 9.4b (US $941m) in 2016. The sum represents a 36% increase in gambling spending since 2013 in this northwest African nation of around 34m people.

The dominant betting activity in Morocco is at the racetrack, where the Royal Society for Horse Encouragement (SOREC) enjoys a betting monopoly. SOREC, which operates 28 branches and has an additional 540 points of sale via commercial partnerships, reported betting turnover rising 3% last year to MAD 6.4b, giving it a 70% share of the non-casino gambling market. SOREC launched a mobile data app in 2016 to keep punters informed on all Moroccan and French racing info and to push promotional offers.

Sports betting and instant lotteries are the sole responsibility of Moroccan Games and Sports (MDJS), which reported turnover up nearly one-fifth to MAD 2.2b in 2016, while turnover growth in this sector has risen 57% since 2013. MDJS’ online sales accounted for only a small fraction of its turnover but online growth (25%) outpaced overall growth.

The Loterie Nationale (LN) digital games monopoly reported selling MAD 603m worth of product, 9% higher than in 2015 and 20% higher than 2013, good for a 6.5% share of the overall market, thanks to the daily participation of around 75k punters.

The number of Moroccans who enjoyed a flutter of any sort rose 5% last year, despite the government having imposed a ban on gambling operators advertising their products on local television, radio and print media.

As a result, the three gaming monopolies have taken to promoting their wares online, and each operator has established its own YouTube channel. An LN source told La Vie Écho that digital was proving “more effective than other media in communications and recruitment of new players.”

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