Whilst the gambling industry is still a relatively new concept in Nigeria, it seems to be making a couple of waves. In fact, it is estimated Nigeria will become one of the fastest-growing markets in Africa, within the next five years. Let’s take a closer look at Nigeria’s gambling scene as a whole.
Nigeria Gambling Industry
Players residing in Nigeria can participate in a variety of casino games and betting. Some of these include, the national lottery, casino games (table games, video slots and progressive slots) and sports betting. In a report issued by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), the results revealed casino statistics and date from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
What’s truly impressive is that in Nigeria alone, gross gambling revenues are expected to increase by 16% within the next five years. Additionally, the highly anticipated lottery called Quick Lotto, has also generated a lot of excitement across the country. In fact, previous chairman of the senate committee on Capital Market Ayo Arise, thinks that more people can benefit through Quick Lotto, as there is room for new jobs and also tax revenues. Additionally, Arise also believes that lotteries also serve as a way to connect the different communities of a country. Furthermore, 20% of profits made from the national lottery, are given to the government, which are then donated to a number of good causes. In the long run, this is beneficial to the developments and progress of Nigeria.
Although Quick Lotto did generate more excitement and also employment, the country didn’t really have to wait for that particular launch. In fact, it seems that Nigerian players enjoy sports betting. In particular, Nigerian players love all things related to football. Due to the huge interest, more and more betting companies are launching new platforms, where both footie fans can place small bets and enjoy the big wins.
It’s important to note that sports betting isn’t targeted to one particular audience. In fact, it is something that both young and older players enjoy from time to time. As stated in a KPMG report on Gambling in Africa, over 60 million Nigerian players between the ages of 18 and 40 years of age, are interested in sports betting. If we look at a few figures, your average player will spend around 3,000 Naira ($15) on sports betting. Bearing this in mind, if over 2 billion Naira are spent on sports betting in Nigeria on a daily basis, this results in an annual revenue of a staggering 730 billion Naira.
Although Nigerian players enjoy sports betting, they have also expressed a huge interest in the casino industry. As previously mentioned, the Nigerian casino industry is expected to experience a rapid growth rate within the next couple of years. However, there is a downside.
Casino gambling is extremely unregulated, and at the moment, there aren’t many licensed venues. In fact, there are currently on two gambling cities in Nigeria with licensed gambling facilities – Abuja and Lagos. Lagos stands as the largest gambling city between the two. It is able to host one gambling facility, 10 table games, along with over 106 games, slots and video poker machines. However, roulette and coin flipping games are currently prohibited.
Although there are only three venues, the online casino industry seems to be flourishing. Up until 2004, gambling was banned across the country, but due to the increasing popularity, Nigeria managed to obtain its very first online gaming license back in 2013. Since then, things for the online community continued to progress nicely.
Although players were only allowed to play roulette games at first, the online gambling industry started to gain some momentum. In fact, Nigerian players can avail from a sufficient number of sports betting sites and casino operators. That said, strict regulations are still in place, and players can only sign up to legal and regulated sites that are approved by the nation.
Big things are in the pipeline. In 2018 alone, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria successfully managed to reach more than $37 billion in revenue. This allowed the Nigerian government to assess the situation and eventually come to the conclusion that potential tax revenues need to be regulated.
Notably, the Nigerian government is trying to set things into motion by adding gambling regulations to the nation’s legislation. However, it’s not the right long-term solution. Instead, new licensing systems are now required. The Lagos State Lotter Board and FIFA’s Early Warning System believe that all operators and the Nigerian government need to work together towards a common goal.
In the long run, good things are to come out of this. For starters, the regulation of the online gambling scene will attract more players to join the online community. Additionally, it will also help lessen any unscrupulous behavior and illegal activity amongst the Nigerian population.