Sports Betting and Legalities in Nigeria: 5 Things Bettors Need to Know
Watching sports events and betting on them are activities that millions of people worldwide enjoy, and Nigerians are not an exception to this rule. Betting on sports lets sports enthusiasts win real money prizes from live sports events worldwide.
The sports betting industry in Nigeria has experienced a boost in the last few decades. The Business Wire reports that over 60 million Nigerians between 18 and 40 years of age bet on sports. The same report estimates the worth of the Nigerian sports betting market as around $2 billion.
As with many people worldwide, Nigerians love betting on popular sports, particularly their national sport, football. However, with online betting, comes certain legalities and rules which need to be followed by both sportsbooks as well as punters.
Why Sports Betting is Popular in Nigeria
Sports betting popularity intensified in Nigeria because Nigerians, especially the youth, started gaining access to mobile phones and smartphones. Factors responsible for the growth of the Nigerian sports betting industry include deeper Internet penetration, access to mobile devices, and a thick population of players below 30.
Here are five interesting facts about the sports betting industry and sports betting laws in Nigeria:
Sports Betting Is Legal in Nigeria
Betting on sports is a legal activity in Nigeria. The country has several regulatory bodies, including the Lagos State Lottery Board and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), which license and regulate the sports betting industry. Nigerian regulators grant sports betting licenses only to companies that undergo several examinations. They assess the financial fitness of license applicants and ascertain their ability to offer secure sports betting services.
Nigerian gambling laws categorize games into illegal and legal games. Sports betting, land casinos, and lottery games are legal in Nigeria, but dice games, roulette games, and chance-based card games are illegal.
Betting on sports online is also a legal activity in Nigeria, but advertisers need to comply with government policies.
Wide Choice of Licensed Sports Betting Sites
Nigerians have a wide choice of licensed sports betting options thanks to the activities of the Lagos State Lottery Board and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. Licensed sportsbooks offer excellent services to residents, focusing on customer satisfaction, fairness, and security.
Popular bookmakers in Nigeria are MerryBet, SportyBet, Bet9ja, Betway, NairaBet, and NaijaBet, to mention a few. Once you register at these sites, you can choose from thousands of betting options on sports ranging from local to international events. The opportunities for Nigerians to bet on sports and win prizes are endless.
Online Sports Betting in Nigeria
The Nigerian Lottery Commission regulates online gambling activities in Nigeria. Operators of online sportsbooks need a license from the Nigerian Lottery Commission to offer online sports betting services in the country.
There is nothing in the Nigerian law book to prevent residents from signing up at international online sportsbooks. However, Nigerian players are safer at online sportsbooks licensed in Nigeria because they comply with Nigerian sports betting laws. Also, you can trust bookies licensed in Nigeria to offer legal betting options.
NLRC Licensed Sportsbooks
The NLRC oversees lottery businesses in the country. Headquartered in Abuja, the NLRC has offices in 15 states, including Delta, Kano, Edo, and Lagos.
The regulatory body has the power to grant three types of licenses—promotional permits, lottery licenses, and sports betting licenses. Apart from granting licenses, the NLRC prevents unlicensed sportsbooks from operating within its territory.
Operators have to pay a licensing fee of 2 million Naira to obtain a license. Each sports betting license remains valid for five years. Licensed operators have to pay 3 percent of their revenue to the National Lottery Trust Fund and the NLRC.
So far, the NLRC has granted licenses to over 40 companies, including app developers and online sportsbooks. KC Gaming Ltd, Sporty Internet Limited, TM Gaming Ltd, and Calgary Online Limited operate online sportsbooks on a Nigerian license.