Growing Popularity of Sports and Betting in Nigeria

Growing Popularity of Sports and Betting in Nigeria

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, according to Worldometer. It has 206,139,589 people. Nigerians are known for their passion for sports. They like watching and playing football, athletics, and rugby. Many Nigerians place sports bets in reputable sportsbooks such as Betway. The gambling industry in the West African industry has transformed in recent years. Here are four factors that have promoted the growth of sports betting in Nigeria.

1. Mobile Betting
Over the years, local technology companies have developed efficient payment systems that encourage investors to set up online sportsbooks. Nigeria lagged in mobile payments for long compared to countries like Kenya that have been using the M-Pesa service for more than ten years. Such services help clients make cashless payments from anywhere.
Most online clients in Nigeria were concerned about poor internet connection and electronic fraud in the past. Recent studies reveal that mobile payment services help new bookmakers win the trust of amateur and experienced punters. They prefer online transactions than cash transactions.

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Seun Anibaba, Lagos State Lotteries Board’s CEO said that the gaming regulator has seen a significant increase in payment solutions in Nigeria. Gamblers who wager at Betway Nigeria deposit and make withdrawals through credit cards, Neteller, mobile payment and PayPal.
Nigerian betting firms partner with mobile service providers that offer fast mobile payment services. It is important for the payment platforms to accessible and easy to use. Seun stated that the regulatory board collected a 40 percent tax in Lagos State in 2017. It had increased by ten percent compared to 2016.

Mobile betting has contributed to an increase in the amount of revenue that the state governments generate each year, according to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). Online bookmakers attract more than twenty million Nigerians. But, most of the people lack bank accounts. So, it is tricky for them to make online transactions.

2. High Unemployment
About 23 percent of Nigerians are unemployed. Many people struggle to find formal and informal jobs in the country. Some of them engage in sports betting to earn a living. Betting firms have transformed the lives of many Nigerians. They offer a wide variety of betting markets that increase the chances of winning of Nigerian gamblers. More than 15 percent of Nigerian youth aged between 15 and 24 years are active punters.

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3. Lenient Betting Laws
Kenya and South Africa are some of the few African countries that have a clear regulatory framework that controls betting. Nigeria’s government allows foreign bookmakers to venture into the local gambling market. Sportsbooks from the United Kingdom were the first to open branches in the West African country. They attract new clients through sponsorship deals and advertisements.

4. Fast Internet
Nigeria’s internet has improved over the past few decades. Established telecommunication firms provide affordable and fast internet in Nigeria. It helps Nigerian citizens communicate with family and friends and place bets on their phones and desktops.
Most Nigerians punters wager on top football leagues like the English Premier League, Ligue 1, La Liga and Serie A. They get the latest match updates and sports news at Betway and professional sportswriters. Fast internet and high unemployment rates encourage many people to take part in sports betting. Many foreign bookmakers have ventured into the Nigerian market since 2000.

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