Despite the fact that betting laws are still an undeveloped area in Nigeria, sports betting is immensely popular in Nigeria. In particular among young adults looking for new ways of making money.
Nigeria’s society has been moved towards a right direction, with their economy boosting and been placed in the top 20 of the world. However, it’s still a nation with a relatively low income, comparing to Western countries.
Nonetheless, there has been enough prosperity in the country to be able to invest in gambling, with a huge stress on sports betting.
The question is, how can you bet on sports in Nigeria? Considering their rather grey gambling laws and the rarely accepted local currency?
Nigeria isn't any different, comparing to the majority of the countries, and you can see brick and mortar bookies as well as casinos.
However, the gambling laws in Nigeria are not as straightforward as you might think.
Most forms of betting are illegal under the article 22 of Criminal Code Act.
There are exceptions for skilled card games or national lottery. But, for instance, roulette or dice games are not allowed as they are purely based on luck and fortunate probabilities.
This makes sports betting a legal discipline as players have to make a thoughtful decision, from which they can learn, and improve their results by studying and gaining experience. Hence, it involves a significant level of skills and knowledge.
The penalty for involvement in illegal gambling activities is a small fine up to 40 Nairas or 3 months imprisonment. The penalties for gambling operators are much greater, resulting in a lot of these activities happening underground.
The unauthorised gambling market has become a huge problem in Nigeria, with illegally operating betting websites spreading throughout the country.
This leads to another issue of players won’t being able to access any legal supports as they would be committing crimes themselves.
It’s much safer for Nigerians to bet on sports through authorised European bookmakers or KC Gaming Networks Limited, which has a permit to operate in certain parts of Nigeria.
Available Sports Bookmakers
Live sportsbooks started showing up in the country in 2007, and they’ve been legalised afterwards.
One of the drawbacks on Nigerian betting markets is a number of illegal operators that took advantage of growing sports betting industry. Since they’re not regularised, the players are risking placing their money with an unknown operator and possibly losing them.
Luckily, there are a number of overseas websites that allow Nigerian players to wager on sports, but most of them won’t accept Naira as a currency.
One of the safest, global, bookmakers is Bet365 which accepts players from Nigeria and has a stellar reputation for safety and reliability. It also offers odds on Nigerian Premier League, which is one of the most popular sports to bet on from Nigeria.
Another great bookmaker is a local website - Bet9ja. It’s very prominent among locals and offers a wide range of available sports, including football and Live betting.
Most Popular Sports To Bet On (In Nigeria)
Given the high level of success that the national team has enjoyed, it comes as a no surprise that football is one of the most popular sports. Regardless whether we speak about betting, watching or playing.
The bookmakers mentioned above offer a number of ways to bet on the most popular matches, including the European football league, international competitions and smaller leagues around the world.
I think if you ask anybody in Nigeria about football, everyone will come back with their favourite team and its recent progress. So it’s not a surprise that it’s also the biggest betting market.
Those who seriously think about making money and are more interested in making profits than their team winning, will, of course, invest in other markets as well. From basketball, American football to darts and table tennis and more.
Nigerian are quite lucky when it comes to the available methods of payments, as their banking system is much more advanced than in the rest of the continent.
All major debit/credit cards branded underneath Visa or Mastercard are accepted as well as e-wallets. With Bet9ja you also have a choice of making a bank deposit and the money will be instantly deposited into the bookmaker’s account.
When it comes to withdrawals, on the other hand, it becomes a bit more tricky. The only available method is mostly bank transfer, which doesn’t take long, but comparing to worldwide bookies is limited.
Of course, each website has its own established payment and withdrawals methods, but these are the most optimised in this market.
What’s The Future Of Nigerian Betting Market?
Nigerians bet approximately $4.2 billion a year, which is much more than the casino industry that only brings approximately $40 million.
The demand for a more regularised betting market is significantly high, with 30% of young adults showing a vast interest in betting as a way of making money.
With such an explosion of interest and invested money, it would only be silly for Nigeria not to take it on board and introduce clearer, and more definitive, laws.
Decent taxation of the gambling industry could bring a rapid influx of money to the country, which later on can be reinvested and result in a further country development. It will also eliminate the underground betting market and create a safety net around the players.
For the time being, the only way of betting on sports in Nigeria is through foreign bookmakers and Bet9ja, which is the most reputable local bookie.
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s residents have to wait only time will tell if the government is going to take the relevant steps to regularise the gambling market properly.
Do you have any experience in Nigeria’s sports betting market?
Let us know in the comments below as we are fascinated with the Nigeria’s sports betting popularity and cannot wait to hear your thoughts!