Turkish entrepreneur builds betting empire in Ghana, creates 2,000 jobs
Sadi Özdemir – ISTANBULA Turkish entrepreneur has established an official betting system particularly for camel and horse races and sporting competitions in Ghana, with his company reaching 100,000 people on a monthly basis and creating 2,000 jobs.
Halit Karabaşoğlu, who is the child of a shopkeeper from the southeastern province of Kilis, moved to Ghana in 2012 and set up a betting and lottery system, a vacant sector in the African country.
Karabaşoğlu built his betting system under the name of Safaribet for horse and camel races as well as football, tennis and basketball matches, with a similar betting and lottery system in Turkey.
“We went to Ghana for tourism and energy but we saw that it is a 35 million-person country and there is a huge demand for football. Fifty percent of the country can count the names of players in the first 10 teams of the Premier League with their wives. Being a football player there is the best point to ever reach in human dreams. Their biggest dream is to become footballers in France, Italy and England. We first set up a license commission which never existed before. We established Safaribet and began lottery games. We have become a generic brand in Ghana in this field,” Karabaşoğlu said.
Karabaşoğlu also added that his betting system made progress after 2015 and that they developed products in line with the entertainment culture of the country.
“We are now in 200 spots in 10 states and 80 cities. We have created 2,000 jobs and we are expecting a 35 million euros in revenue this year. We are aiming for 55 million euros in revenue in 2017 and another 100 million in 2018. We will be in 300 spots in 2017 and reach 4,000 employees. We will open to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. If we succeed, we will reach an employment of 10,000 in 2018,” Karabaşoğlu said.
Karabaşoğlu also described Ghana as a very happy country with a decent entertainment culture.
“We began the lottery games sector in Ghana as a hobby. Now we have an open front company and we are excited. There is no coffeeshop culture in this country but a bar culture. They begin drinking on Friday and drink and dance until Sunday. They do this with an avarage of 10 dollars. It is a very happy country and it is so hard to see a person who does not smile. There is also no racism,” he said.