Nigeria Is one of the gambling Markets with the greatest potential

Nigeria is one of the top destinations for online gambling, which may be attributed to the lack of comprehensive laws and other factors in the gambling industry.

A casino with a poker game player.

Gambling has become extremely popular in Nigeria, the continent's largest population and one of the strongest economies. 

A lack of strict regulations and prohibiting laws combined with the rise in online opportunities gave a serious boost to the potential of Nigeria's wagering market. Let's see. 

The Legality of gambling in Nigeria

The practice of gambling has been frowned upon in Nigeria for a long time. However, in 1990, the government legalized gambling through the Criminal Act Code, intending to generate more tax revenue. The forms of gambling permitted in the country include lotteries, land-based casinos, and sports betting. 

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission now regulates gambling, and the country's law differentiates games of skill from games of chance, deeming non-skilled games illegal.

For example, this allows the visitors of any of the country's nine land-based venues to play poker and blackjack, but not roulette and dice games. 

The state of Online gambling

The legality of online gambling in Nigeria is hard to define. The only form officially legalized by the government is sports betting. It is estimated that Nigerians spend up to $2 billion on sports bets every year. 

Like online casinos and online sportsbooks, the rest of the market falls under a gray area since there are no clear regulations that define online wagering.

No law or regulation even mentions it at all. However, that does not stop Nigerians from finding many options available to them like Betway, where they can not only enjoy the services of one of the best sports betting operators globally but also use a Betway sign-up code to maximize their fun, as these providers are always looking for ways to let their players and followers know they are special and appreciated. 

The demand for online gambling sites in the country is so high that in 2018, Nigeria was the second-largest market in Africa, generating $58 million in revenue for the year.

Sports Betting

The country's residents nurture a strong passion for sports, and football is the most popular type. Punters enjoy placing bets on many different international leagues, but the English Premier League remains their most frequent choice.

Since sports betting is the only form of online wagering that is officially legal, the operators must pay taxes to the government. Land-based establishments pay taxes on their profits, but the exact percentage is unknown, while the taxes on winnings are somewhere around 20%. 

Although sports betting is legal, the market is still not fully regulated. However, it is considered safe, and today Nigeria is the second-largest sports betting market on the continent, right after South Africa.

The locals spend millions of naira on sports wagers, and 53% of sports punters claim they play every day. A typical Nigerian gambler spends close to ₦3,000 per day placing bets.

However, most people in the country prefer betting on foreign online platforms. Thanks to the increasing penetration of smartphones and the fact that now almost 50% of the population has access to one, the demand for online betting is rising.

A typical casino gambling tool; poker, blackjack and dice.

Market size

The standard of living in Nigeria is growing together with its economy, and more and more people can set some money aside for entertainment. There are somewhere around 60 million people in Nigeria involved in regular wagering.

The market generated N50 billion in revenue in 2019, which is expected to grow every year. Nigerians are primarily fond of sports betting, lottery, and slot machines for the nation's most popular games. 

Wagering is especially prevalent in the South-West and the South-South regions of the country, where the South-West dominates the scene due to the high demand for wagering in Lagos. The city is home to the biggest land-based casino in the country and several thriving sports betting shops. 

As for the demographics, men are more likely to enjoy wagering than women. However, women are getting more interested in the industry, and although now only 10% of the country's internet bettors are female, the number is slowly rising.

The Government's efforts

The country's population is interested in gambling, but the government officials are starting to see the market's massive impact on the country's economy. That is why the Federal Government of Nigeria began revealing plans about acquiring a central monitoring system for the industry.

The system will be used to monitor the sector and minimize revenue leakages. The country's officials firmly believe that the gaming industry could be a massive support to the government's poverty alleviation programs only if appropriately managed. 

Although we may say that the gambling industry in Nigeria is still in its early stages, we can't deny that it's growing at an extraordinary rate. Nigerian people love wagering, and with the increase in the number of available online and offline facilities, they will enjoy their favorite pastime even more.