Gambling has been around since the beginning of time and is today a well-regulated global activity. The worldwide gaming industry was predicted at $443 billion in 2020. About $50 billion greater than Nigeria’s GDP, and it should double in the next seven years. In other words, to say gambling is popular is an understatement.
Africa’s betting markets are dwarfed by other continents’ due to antiquated regulations. Online gambling is a rapidly growing business, but due to low internet penetration (18%), Africa lags behind the rest of the globe. The situation has improved dramatically in recent years, and Nigeria is now a unique country where players may enjoy both global and local sportsbooks.
South Africa now leads the continent owing to its substantial land-based industry, which dominates the thirty million square kilometer expanse. Nigeria is second and might soon challenge for first.
Popular Gambling Regions in Nigeria
Firstly, gambling is both allowed and prohibited in Nigeria, depending on the area and nature. The Nigerian government allowed some kinds of this activity to raise additional tax revenues. These rules are contained in the Criminal Code Act, Chapter 22, section 236.
Nigeria has nine gaming locations and four gambling cities. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission controls this activity, which is increasing popularity despite the lack of government legislation. But some states, like Lagos, do it.
Approximately 60 million Nigerians like betting. According to NOIPolls, gaming is particularly popular in the country’s South-West and South-South geopolitical zones. The South-West has the greatest incidence at 92%. The cause is laxity in Lagos. It has the country’s biggest casino and several sports betting parlors. When prominent European leagues are in action, agents for 1960Bet Company estimate that roughly 300 gamblers visit its Lagos locations every day, whereas 150 bet daily during the off-season. Lagos recently enacted laws permitting online betting, and it is home to some of the biggest participants in the country’s online betting business. Anambra, a state in the South-East, is also contributing.
Northern Nigerians are less interested in gambling, with prevalence rates at 50%-60% in states like Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, and Sokoto. The North-Central area has the greatest frequency.
Gender and Age of Players
Nigerians that like betting on sports and casino games are mainly aged 18-40. Also, majority (53%) gamble everyday. The most prone to gamble are those aged 18-35. The elderly are the least prone to gamble. The major reason people gamble, according to the NOIPolls poll, is to win money. Employees report that the usual bet amount is $5 to $25.
A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction questioned 189 Lagos residents aged 18-32, with an average age of 25. More than half said they gamble three times a week.
Female gambling engagement has grown over time, notably in online betting, according to Mustapha and Enilolobo’s 2019 research titled Effects of Gambling on the Welfare of Nigerian Youth. The survey found that although just 10.3% of Nigerian online bettors are female, their involvement is progressively increasing.
In 2019, H2 Gambling Capital assessed the African online gaming business to be worth $450 million. They also forecasted that the African iGaming market will treble in four years, reaching $2 billion in yearly revenue by 2024. BtoBet thinks Nigeria will lead the digital revolution. Following Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana Nigeria and Kenya have the highest rates of mobile subscriptions and internet penetration. Nigeria’s internet penetration rate was 42% in 2020.
Real money online slots provide the majority of online casino earnings. The proportion varies per platform but is generally between 70% and 80%. In Nigeria, online casino games have lost popularity to sports betting, since spinning digital reels and playing virtual cards is much less popular. Clients may get such games through local internet bookmakers. Nairabet and other similar companies’ casino areas provide a very restricted slot and table game selection.
Few Nigerian operators provide titles from major industry sources. Nigerians who like playing slots or blackjack or baccarat versus software or a live dealer prefer to do it at foreign sites like 888 and JackpotCity. These platforms’ game selection is significantly more comprehensive and higher quality than that of local operators. On offshore sites, Nigerians are safe from legal consequences.
Nigerians appreciate sports, particularly football. A recent poll revealed that over 70% of men in the nation are addicted to it, with most betting on football games (over 70 percent ). Analysts say most Nigerian sports gamblers avoid their football league because it is too predictable, and most operator odds reflect that. So they prefer betting on prominent European leagues like the English Premiership and the Spanish La Liga.
In Nigeria, betting parlors still outnumber online betting services. However, with 169 million mobile subscribers and 100 million internet users, the tide should soon turn, with the online world taking over.
Sports betting is estimated to be valued close to $40 billion in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Nigeria has several local betting firms. A few of the most well-known ones include Naijabet and Skybetnaija. Without a doubt, Bet9ja is the country’s leading site, bringing in almost $10 million monthly. However, much as with online casinos, locals prefer to gamble at foreign sites owing to the better service. The two favorites are 888 Sports and Betway. The former sponsors West Ham United and Levante UD, while the former sponsors Cardiff City and Birmingham City. The typical Nigerian sports bettor loses $8 every day.
The National Lottery Regulatory Commission was established in 2005 by the National Lottery Act. Their headquarters is in Abuja, and they employ around 1600 people. Approximately 7.5 million Nigerians like playing the lotto. The National Commission estimated the promo lottery’s earnings at $150 million. They also estimated the SMS lottery could produce $380 million in income. But the industry hasn’t reached these figures.
Western Lotto, for example, has been granted a license to operate in Nigeria in recent years. Many of these firms are aiming to diversify the industry by introducing pari-mutuel gambling. Residents may play online lotteries at The Lotter, Lottoland, Jackpot.com, and Lottomania.
As mobile applications and websites grow more common, the land-based industry will inevitably plateau. In terms of gaming income, Nigeria is second in Africa. Nigeria has the most economic power on the continent and may soon replace South Africa as the region’s gaming destination. Nigerians prefer sports betting, but casino games are growing popularity as more players discover high-quality slots on overseas platforms. Expect a surge in the Nigerian gambling business when internet gambling legality loosens and specific legislation are approved.