The Rise of Sports Betting in Nigeria

The Rise of Sports Betting in Nigeria

Gambling has been present in Nigeria for a long time in the form of pool staking and betting. Still, it used to be done on a relatively small scale until the late 2000s, when sports betting stepped onto the scene due to an increased interest in sports. As a result, there has been a rise in the widespread use of online sports betting platforms.

Today, more than 60 million people in Nigeria — about a third of the population — actively participate in online sports betting, and the number doesn’t seem to be getting lower. If the interest in sports betting continues to rise, Nigeria is looking to overthrow South Africa and become the biggest online gambling market on the continent.

This might not come as a surprise to many, as Nigeria has the largest population of all African countries, with more than 206 million residents. Likewise, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to the rise of sports betting in Nigeria, like advancing technology, increased liberal mindset, and economic downturn.

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If you are interested to learn more about this topic, take a look below.



There have never been more cell phone users in Nigeria than there are today. Namely, around 170 million residents have cell phones, and more than 96 million are internet users. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that sports betting has increased in the country along with the rise of cell phones and the internet. After all, the presence of modern mobile technology allows more users to join online sports betting websites on the go and place their bets quickly and easily, at more affordable costs.

In addition, another factor that has influenced the rise of sports betting is upgraded technology that enables safe and easy depositing. Aside from the traditional method of funding your betting account through bank transfers, players from Nigeria now have additional options, such as online banking, bank cards, e-wallets, and similar.


Unfortunately, unemployment and poverty rates are quite high in Nigeria, which leads to many people looking for alternative ways to make money. Many of them turn to sports betting as a way of distracting themselves but with the hopes of prospering.

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Bettors don’t seem to be discouraged by losing, as it is a normal part of betting. In fact, they believe that continuing to play will help them make up for all the previous losses, as they’re bound to get it right one day.

Yet, betting in Nigeria is not only restricted to the lower classes. On the contrary, the young middle class in Nigeria constitutes a large portion of the sports betting community. Although making money is the main objective of these bettors as well, they can also afford to entertain themselves and wager with higher stakes.

Liberal Mindset

Nigeria is considered a religious country, meaning gambling is still frowned upon by the elderly and extremely religious groups. Nonetheless, times are changing, and the younger population has more liberal views regarding all betting forms. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, as advancements in technology have played a significant role in progressive thinking.

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Thanks to the more liberal mindset, sports betting is not done in secret anymore. Quite the contrary, Nigerian society has accepted it as an everyday activity. This has enabled more international betting sites to open their doors to the bettors from this country. Furthermore, Nigeria is a relatively new market when it comes to sports betting, so there’s much more room for growth and improvements.

What Does the Future Hold?

It’s highly possible that the sports betting industry will continue to blossom in Nigeria, as the reasons for its rapid growth are unlikely to disappear. An increasing number of people have access to the internet and mobile phones, and the unemployment rate keeps rising, leading to more people engaging in sports betting activities.

Furthermore, sports betting platforms are constantly offering new features and upgrades. With such a strong presence of these gambling sites, it’s no wonder that Nigerians love to be a part of this exciting pastime.


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