When it comes to betting, Nigeria has to be one of the countries that are big on it. This is mainly because Nigeria is a big fan of football and their love for this sport extends to sports betting. It helps that betting is now more accessible because of technology. Mobile betting is becoming the more popular option for many and this is also the case in Nigeria.
Traffic on Nigerian sports betting sites has grown in the last few years. The most popular sports betting sites in the country includes Bet9ja, Nairabet, and Merry Bet and it is estimated that there are 50 betting sites that are operating and offering their services to the locals of the country. The improvement of technological infrastructure in Nigeria has helped with the growth of the online betting scene in the country.
Based on statistics, it is also estimated that each year, Nigerians would spend around ₦1.8 million on sports betting. There are also surveys and studies that even suggests that the locals would spend an amount close to ₦5 million. This just really shows how the locals are more willing to spend money on this.
Because of those numbers, Nigeria has become the second-largest sports betting market in Africa. Another proof that this has become so huge in the country is that the betting operators that offer services to the locals have partnered with telecom companies to make their services more accessible. AS part of a marketing strategy, these companies also enter sponsorship deals. For example, Betway spent to sponsor Big Brother Naija 2020.
However, why is it that sports betting has grown quickly in this country? There are a few factors that can be considered here aside from the advancement of technology. Poor economy, high unemployment rate, and the increasing liberal mindset of the locals are also helping.
And so, one may wonder why even the unemployment rate in the country is big, people still bet on sports. Well, this is because many are hoping that they get things right with betting on sports. They see this as a good way for them to easily earn money and to even hit the jackpot that would help save them from poverty.
This is a common behavior, according to psychologists as gambling is a way to activate the reward circuit in people’s brains. Gambling activities enable the brain to release dopamine and this chemical substance is known to make people feel good. Basically, gambling can be a way of getting high. People still do it even if they shouldn’t because it makes them feel good.
But still, it shouldn’t be ignored that gambling problems can easily arise in poor countries. If countries like Australia and the UK have problems with this, it’s understandable that Nigeria would have to deal with the same thing. Even athletes themselves struggle with this. Football start Wayne Rooney himself experienced gambling problems. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Rooney and his gambling problem almost cost him his career.
While Nigeria is still far from seeing gambling addiction as a big problem in the country, there still are other challenges that the sports betting sector here is facing like taxation. Apparently, the taxable income or net gaming revenues of the betting operators in the country remain unclear and inconsistent. This impacts the withholding tax or value-added tax that is charged to them by the government.
Another factor that helped the boom of sports betting in the country is how much they support the Nigerian national football team or the Super Eagles. This team represents the country in international football matches and it has qualified for six out of the last seven FIFA World Cup.
Overall, Nigeria has a large population of 200 million. Add their love for sports like football, and the other traits of the country we’ve mentioned earlier, all these make Nigeria a perfect market for the betting industry. This is the case even before the country became more welcoming to the betting industry.
The future of sports betting here could be very exciting. Currently, betting companies already have a strong media presence here. It appears that its future is filled with mergers and acquisitions too. Based on reports, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Lagos State Lotteries Board have already issued over a hundred licenses for betting sites. Market consolidation is inevitable in this case because of the rapid growth of the industry in this country.
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