Globally, the sports betting industry was able to reach a market value of $ 203 billion last year, according to Statista. It has become a widespread activity and is popular in UK, USA, Australia, India and many more. In Africa, Nigeria is home to the largest gaming market with a thriving sports betting industry.
The gambling segment in Nigeria is regulated by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). And based on current laws, lottery, land-based casinos, and sports betting are legal here. What is considered illegal are games of chance such as roulette, dice games and other unqualified card games.
However, none of the laws of the country state that online versions of these games are prohibited and that is why Nigerians are free to place their bets on today’s top betting sites in the country which are listed by Bettingsites24.ng.
Popular and legitimate sites offering services to Nigerian bettors
Some of the most frequented betting sites for locals are 1xBet, 888sport, Bet365, Betway and Bet9ja. Nigeria has also already licensed more than 30 sports betting companies since September 2018, when the NLRC first licensed one to Africa Betting Company Nigeria Ltd.
Here is the full list of NLRC licensed operators in Nigeria:
Company name and trade name
Africa Betting Company Nigeria Ltd: Afribet
Kc Gaming Ltd: Bet9Ja
Alphagram West Africa Ltd: Alphagramwa
Sporty Internet Limited: Sportybet
Promoserve Inter Links Ltd: Ibet
Digi Bay Limited: Betway
Over The Top Entertainment Ltd: Nairabet
Tm Gaming Ltd: Access bet
Blackbet Ltd: Blackbet
Crystal Gaming Limited: Betbiga
Naijabet Limited: Naijabet
Interactive Gaming Solutions Limited: bet on the cloud
Visatech Limited: Betlion
Calgary Online Limited: Betpawa
Beaufortbet Nigeria Limited: 1Xbet
Advance Hospitality Limited: Betwinner
Bet24Hrs Gaming Company Limited: Bet24Hrs
Epl Partners Nigeria Limited: Betbonanza
Zegaming Nigeria Limited: Zebet
Mobile Sport Limited: Msport
Interwetten Nigeria Limited: Interwetten
Shade International Gaming Limited: Betika
Otrada Hospitality Limited: Melbet
Infinity Mobile Gaming & Entertainment Limited: Bangbet
Sv Gaming Limited: paris
Neomobile Entertainment Ltd: Booster 99
Arcadia Hospitality Limited: 22Bet
Merrybet Gold Limited: Merrybet
Lucky9Ja Lotto Limited: Island
Soloti Gaming Ltd: Frapapa
N1 Interactive Africa Limited: N1
Starlight Ace Verde Gaming Ltd: Starbet
West Africa Betting Investment Limited: Betmojo
Golden Bet Winners Nigeria Limited: Golden Bet Winners
These are the operators who are free to offer sports betting services in the country. While Nigerians can still place bets on offshore betting sites, the NLRC has made an effort to redirect players or bettors to these licensed companies.
Recently, it was reported that the NLRC has started forming a cooperative task with the Financial Intelligence Unity (NFIU) of Nigeria to prevent players from playing on unregulated sites. The NLRC has also partnered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to tackle “unscrupulous businesses” operating in the country.
NLRC Director General Lanre Gbajabiamila spoke of these partnerships and said: “Our alliance and cooperation is now more imperative and, as responsible agencies, it is our duty to keep pace with the complexity. dynamic and growing modern lottery industry which features several channel availability, electronic game delivery and complex financial transactions.
With this, the commission is likely aiming to follow in Australia’s footsteps in regulating online gambling. Australia has blocked unlicensed gambling sites in the country with the help of local ISPs. However, many are unimpressed with the move and players from home are still betting overseas anyway. Players can easily access banned sites with the use of a VPN.
Nonetheless, it is likely that the NLRC will take a similar approach and find ways to develop better solutions.
Why is sports betting attractive?
Nigeria’s interest in sports betting is mainly due to the country’s love for sports. The most popular sports tracked here are soccer, basketball, cricket, Dambe, and boxing. When it comes to football, the European football leagues are the favorites like the IPL and the UEFA championships.
The accessibility of sports betting also plays an important role in the growth of the betting industry in Nigeria. The internet infrastructure has also improved dramatically and people are more confident and comfortable in placing bets online. The country also has a growing young and mobile population.
There is also research and studies that have shown how unemployment can affect people’s interest in gambling. Africa’s unemployment rate hit a new high this year and studies link unemployment to gambling These studies revealed that many young people go to online casinos or place online sports bets to try and make a profit. While this is usually not healthy, it does happen. This is why the efforts of the NLRC to regulate gambling and betting in Nigeria are crucial.