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888 has expanded into Africa by launching its 888bet sportsbook brand in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.

The launch was facilitated by the London-listed operator’s 888AFRICA joint venture, which was founded in March in combination with leading iGaming industry executives.

888AFRICA has since obtained a local licence in each of the four countries, with further country-specific launches planned across the continent in the near future.

The company said the launch will combine 888’s brand power with localised product features, claiming 85% coverage of mobile network payments in each of the countries.

The 888bet brand will offer cash out, jackpots and free-to-play features across its sportsbook in all markets, while there are more than 1,500 games on the operator’s regulated casino offering in Zambia.

The product is currently available in Swahili, Portuguese, and English, and has launched in each market with bonus offers for new players.

888AFRICA is led by former CEO of GOAT Interactive and former CMO of The Stars Group Christopher Coyne.

“We are delighted to hit our target and launch into four regulated markets within six months of founding the business,” said Coyne.

“This is an important milestone that provides us with fantastic opportunities for further expansion in the future.

“We have enormous ambitions and believe the strength, history and trust of the 888 brand gives us a real competitive advantage as we look to build market-leading positions across Africa.

“We look forward to introducing 888bet and its unique offer to new players across the region in the months ahead,” he added.

888AFRICA CEO Christopher Coyne: “We are delighted to hit our target and launch into four regulated markets within six months of founding the business.”

Launching in countries with attractive long-term growth potential is a key part of 888’s corporate strategy, with the African gambling market forecast to be worth $5.6bn by 2031.

888 CEO Itai Pazner said: “It is great to see Christopher and his team successfully launch 888bet in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia and begin 888AFRICA’s growth story on the continent.

“As a region with significant potential, we are excited to watch 888AFRICA continue to develop its offer and launch new and exciting products for players over the coming years and months, while introducing consumers to the fantastic 888 brand,” he added.

Here are five things operators should know about launching online gambling in Africa.

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