This means that it is neither legal nor illegal to gamble at online casinos in Nigeria. That’s as long as locals play at offshore gambling venues like Australian online casino 24K Casino. Nigeria is still not too strict in regulating gambling activities unlike the way the UK does things.
Online Gambling in Nigeria
Online gambling came to the country in 2006 and it was about a decade later when casinos went online. Back in the day, online casinos required downloading software for people to play casino favorites like poker, roulette, and blackjack.
A popular casino site at the time was 32Red Casino where people could play all casino games. It was one of the first online casinos to accept Nigerian Naira and transactions with major Nigerian banks.
Gambling activities in Nigeria are now regulated by the National Lotteries Regulatory Commission or NLRC. NLRC regulations are based on the National Lottery Act 2005 and the Prohibition of Money Laundering Act 2011.
Today, some of the most popular gambling sites in the country are Bet9ja, 1960bet, Nairabet and 9jaPredict. Ultimately, UK-based gaming companies are the ones dominating the Nigerian market, but as this sector grows, we are likely to see more operators from other countries offering their services here.
It is also estimated that the country’s online gambling revenue each year is at least $400 million. It is also estimated that around 60 million Nigerians would actively place their bets on sports every year.
Based on this, casino gambling is illegal but nothing about offshore online casinos. That’s why locals are always free to play at some of the best online casinos listed by sites like onlinecasinos.com.
With the rise of mobile technology, more and more Nigerians are also starting to take interest in mobile gaming. Thanks to powerful smartphones and mobile devices, everyone can play on the go. Nigeria’s internet infrastructure has also improved significantly over the past decade.
Thanks to all this, locals can play high-quality casino games and easily transact with the local currency.
As there are now many online gambling companies in the Nigerian market, they are all trying to find ways to attract new customers. Most of them now offer bonuses that are hard to resist. It’s also hard to avoid playing anyway. Nigeria is also a country that loves sports, which means that many are also interested in sports betting.
BtoBet reported in 2020 that sports betting has been a crucial sector in the gambling industry in Nigeria. Locals like to bet on football, especially big events like the Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers also reported in 2108 that Nigeria was the second largest online betting market in Africa. That year, the country had a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of over USD 58 million.
Analysts also estimate that Nigerian punters spend around USD 5.5 million per day on their favorite activity. There is also speculation that the annual sports betting turnover in the country is already worth around 1.9-2 billion USD. Unfortunately, this is difficult to assess because online betting is not strictly regulated here.
What is the future of online gambling in Nigeria
The rise of online gambling in the country has somewhat put pressure on African countries and Nigeria is one of them that has legalized some online casinos. This is why the NLRC has issued local licenses to certain companies.
Several major online casinos now operate legally in the country, but offshore casinos are still in the gray area. This is why competition remains tough for these operators. However, since the NLRC is now involved in the local regulation of online casinos, Nigeria is likely to take more steps to regulate online gambling activities.
It is no surprise that eventually Nigeria only allows locally licensed online casinos to operate and offer their services to locals.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers also predicted that the country’s GGR would rise by at least 16% by the end of next year. It will continue to do so even after next year. That said, online gambling is one of the industries that is helping the Nigerian economy grow, as it has over the past few years.