In Nigeria, the gambling business is booming. Legislation updates would maximise beneficial tax revenue, while minimising the risk of problem betting.

In Nigeria the gambling business is booming. When skills-based casino games and, more importantly, sports betting, were legalised under portions of the country’s Criminal Codes Act in 1990, the population responded enthusiastically. Since then, the zeal has only increased.

Online Enthusiasm

With Internet penetration, especially on mobile devices, constantly increasing in Nigeria, it’s unsurprising that online betting sites are wildly popular across the nation. Often, land-based bookmakers have extended their business with their own desktop and mobile platforms.

In these cases, the betting sites are usually licensed by the Nigerian National Lottery Regulation Commission as their brick-and-mortar counterparts are, since there is no specific legislation covering online gambling in the country.

Nigerians also have access to hundreds of offshore operators, who can also be trusted to maintain standards of safety and fairness if they are licensed by other trusted regulators such as the Malta Gaming Authority. Wherever online companies are based, their popularity is increasing by the day.

Poverty Paired with Passion

While Nigerians do enjoy both land-based and online casino games, their true love is definitely sports, and sports betting. The nation is especially zealous about Football, but also embraces several other disciplines. Recently, the Nigerian News Agency reports that around 60 million 18-to-40-year-olds are active bettors with almost N$2 million wagered daily – which adds up to nearly N$730 billion annually.

Besides simply loving the sports themselves, watching and betting on the results is so widespread because it offers a tantalisingly quick and easy way out of poverty. Most people lose money or do not win large amounts when they bet on sports events, but there are always some that do. The promise of these riches has proven too tempting for many bettors to turn away from.

Insiders Urge Legal Updates

With so much passion for betting, gambling in Nigeria seems here to stay. The best way to maximise its benefits (major government revenue through proper taxation) and minimise its risks (problem gambling behaviour or even addiction) is with proper regulation, particularly for the online sector. This would ensure proper taxation, and responsible gambling initiatives.

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