Gambling has existed since the dawn of time and has grown into a popular pastime that is now well-regulated in most areas of the world. In the year 2020, the global gaming market is expected to be worth $443 billion. That is over $50 billion more than Nigeria’s gross domestic product, and it is expected to grow by $200 billion over the next seven years. As a result, it would be an understatement to say that gambling is a popular pastime these days.
Africa’s betting markets are significantly less established than those on other continents due to its outmoded regulatory structure. African nations lag behind the rest of the world in terms of the expansion of the online gambling business, which is a developing area that is predicted to eventually become the industry’s leading sector, due to low internet penetration rates (18 percent). However, tremendous progress has been made in recent years, and Nigeria is now a rare example of a country where players may enjoy sports betting at both foreign and domestic operators. This was not always true.
South Africa now leads the African continent due to its thriving land-based economy, which dominates all other industries over its thirty million square kilometers of land. Nigeria is presently in second place, and it seems likely that it will soon be contending for first place.
Locations in Nigeria with the Highest Number of People Engaged in Gambling Activities
To begin, it is critical to understand that the legality of gambling in Nigeria is dependent on both the player’s location and the game being played. To increase tax revenue, the Nigerian government decriminalized certain components of this practice near the end of the 1990s. These statutory provisions were later included in the Criminal Code Act, which may be found in Chapter 22, section 236.
There are nine casinos distributed around the country, with four of them in major cities. In all, Nigeria has gaming establishments. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission regulates this practice, and even though there is no specific federal legislation controlling it, internet betting is becoming increasingly popular. Nonetheless, it is controlled in some states, like Lagos.
According to certain data, around 60 million Nigerians like betting. According to the findings of a NOIPolls poll, gambling is most prevalent in the United States South-West and South-South the geopolitical zones. To be more specific, the southwest-southwest area had the highest occurrence, at 92 percent. This is because of the casual attitude that has been adopted regarding the activity in Lagos. It is home to the country’s largest casino as well as a considerable number of sports betting parlors.
While major European leagues are in play, agents working with 1960Bet Company, which has over 5,000 shops in Nigeria alone, estimate that over 300 bettors visit its Lagos facilities daily; yet, during the off-season, roughly 150 persons make bets daily. Lagos has just become Nigeria’s first state to allow online gambling, and the state, along with neighboring Ogun, is now home to a number of the most prominent players and organizations in this sector of the economy. This pattern is also affected by Anambra, a state in the south-eastern area of Nigeria.
People in northern Nigeria tend to be less enthused about gambling, since the prevalence rate in states such as Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, and Sokoto, among others, is between 50 and 60 percent. The North-Central section of the region has the highest incidence of all areas.
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Persons Who Play, Divided by Gender and Age
Males aged 18 to 40 make up the great bulk of Nigeria’s betting populace, whether in casinos or at sporting events. Furthermore, the vast majority of them (53 percent) gamble every day. People between the ages of 18 and 35 are the most likely to engage in gambling. People above the age of 60 are the least likely to place bets. The majority of respondents to the NOIPolls poll given in the preceding quotation stated that the primary reason they bet is to make money. The sportsbook employees say that the average size of a stake is between $5 and $25.
The researchers questioned 189 Lagos residents between the ages of 18 and 32 in a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. The participants’ average age was 25 years old, and the great majority of them reported having a significant proclivity for gambling. A bit more than half of them admitted to gambling three or more times each week.
A 2019 study titled “Effects of Gambling on the Welfare of Nigerian Youths” by Mustapha and Enilolobo discovered that, even though Nigerian males are much more likely to gamble than Nigerian females, female gambling participation has increased over time, particularly in terms of online betting. This was discovered even though Nigerian males are far more inclined than Nigerian females to gamble. According to the poll results, women make up just 10.3 percent of Nigerian online gamblers; nevertheless, this figure is slowly but gradually increasing year over year.
According to H2 Gambling Capital, a business that provides market research and consulting services to the gaming industry, the African online market was worth slightly under one billion dollars in 2019. Furthermore, they predict that the revenue generated by iGaming in Africa would more than double over the next four years, reaching more than two billion dollars annually by 2024.
BtoBet believes that Nigeria will be at the forefront of whatever digital change occurs. Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana will be the next countries to join. Nigeria and Kenya stand out from the rest due to a higher number of mobile customers and internet penetration rates. The percentage of Nigerians who have access to the internet in 2020 was 42 percent.
The great bulk of revenue earned by online casinos is generated by real money online slot machines. Although the percentage varies per platform, it is often between 70 and 80 percent most of the time. Betting on sporting events is significantly more popular in Nigeria than playing online casino games such as spinning digital reels or playing virtual cards.
As a result, Nigerians devote far less time to these pursuits. Customers may access these games via their local online betting businesses. However, if you visit the casino section of Nairabet or any other equivalent site, you will see that the variety of slot machines and table games is rather limited.
The market’s top providers do not make their games available to the small number of Nigerian operators who offer such games. As a result, Nigerian gamers who are proficient at slot machines or love playing blackjack or baccarat against software or a live dealer choose to do so at overseas sites like 888 and JackpotCity Casino. These platforms’ game selection is significantly more vast and of higher quality than that given by regional operators. Nigerian nationals have no legal consequences for engaging in gaming activities at offshore sites.
Betting on Sports
The Nigerian people enjoy a wide range of sports, but football is their true love. A recent poll found that more than 70% of males in the nation are obsessed with it, with the great majority of those who wager doing so on football matches (over 70 percent ). According to industry analysts, the majority of sports bettors in Nigeria dislike betting on their domestic football league because they feel it is too predictable, and the bulk of operator odds reflect this opinion. As a result, they prefer betting on games that take place at Europe’s top level of competition, such as the English Premiership and the Spanish La Liga.
It is worth noting that in Nigeria, land-based betting businesses continue to have a slight advantage in terms of activity over online betting services. However, given the country has 169 million mobile subscribers and 100 million internet users, the tide should soon shift and the online realm will take over. Because the country has 100 million internet users, this is the case.
According to market research completed in 2018, the combined value of the sports betting markets in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa is anticipated to reach close to $40 billion. In Nigeria, there are several local betting establishments. Some of the most well-known ones include Naijabet, Bet9ja, Sportsbet, Skybetnaija, Merrybet, Surebet247, 1960Bet, 360Bet, Parknbet, Plusnet, 9jadollarbet, and Visabet. There are plenty of others. Without a question, the most popular website in the country is Bet9ja, which generates over $10 million in revenue each month.
Residents, on the other hand, prefer to make their wagers at offshore sites due to the greater quality of service provided by these foreign platforms, similar to the scenario with online casinos. 888 Sports and Betway are the two sites that garner the most recommendations. The first firm sponsors both Cardiff City FC and Birmingham City, whereas the second company sponsors West Ham United and Levante UD. The average Nigerian gambler will spend around $8 per day on sports betting.
This role was assigned to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, which was created by the National Lottery Act of 2005 and is in charge of regulating lottery draw activities in Nigeria. Their corporate headquarters are in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, and they employ over 1,600 people there. According to a 2016 estimate, over 7.5 million Nigerians love participating in lottery events.
The National Commission predicted that the promotional lottery would generate around $150 million in revenue. Furthermore, they estimated that the mobile lottery might generate $380 million in income. Despite this, the industry has not been able to meet these targets.
Several lottery businesses, notably Western Lotto, have been awarded licenses to conduct business in Nigeria during the previous few years. Many of these companies are working toward the objective of introducing pari-mutuel gambling and increasing market diversity. Some prominent websites where residents may participate in online lottery drawings are The Lotter, Lottoland, Jackpot.com, and Lottomania.
There is no doubt that the land-based sector will hit a plateau over the next 10 years as the trend toward betting via mobile applications and websites becomes the norm. Nigeria has risen to second place in Africa in terms of gaming earnings. Because Nigeria has a bigger GDP than any other country on the African continent, it is projected that it would soon overtake South Africa as the region’s gambling capital.
Although casino games are becoming more popular in Nigeria, sports betting remains the country’s most popular form of gambling. This is predicted to change as more players become aware of the high-quality slot machines provided by overseas platforms. You should expect development in the Nigerian gambling business as a result of reducing regulatory limits on online betting and the introduction of laws addressing online gaming explicitly.