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Online Betting in Nigeria

An overview of Online Betting in Nigeria

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How does online betting in Nigeria work?

Rapid advancements in technology and improved internet access in Nigeria, added to the nation’s love for sport, especially football, has resulted in a sharp increase in online betting in Africa’s most populated country.

As well as seen as a way to generate extra cash, for many in Nigeria, as in various other parts of the globe, online betting is a hobby that continues to become ever so more popular.

So, if you’re reading this as a Nigerian resident and wanting a taste of the action, we’re here to guide you through everything related to online betting in Nigeria.

From the best advice on how to set up an account as a Nigerian player, to the ins and outs on of the Nigerian betting market and which bookies are the best for specific sports, BookiesBonuses has you covered!

Legalities of Online Betting in Nigeria

First off, it’s important to make you aware of the facts, and, some of the fiction, that currently surrounds online betting in Nigeria, for it is one grey area that tends to stir much debate.

However, betting, pools and lotteries - skill based games – have, for the most part, always been permitted.

It’s true, there are laws in place to prevent “unlawful gaming” from taking place. Under this term, games that do not involve an element of skill, so roulette, games involving dice (excluding backgammon) cowries and the like, that are not favourable to all players and based on pure luck, are forbidden.

However, betting, pools and lotteries - skill based games – have, for the most part, always been permitted.

While it remains common practice to partake in betting, pools and lotteries, in land-based shops in Nigeria, online is where it’s all at now, especially for betting, and sports betting in particular.

Football is life in Nigeria…

So says FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who described Nigeria as a nation with “unquantifiable passion and love” for the game, and a place “where football is more than a religion”.

It’s thought unequivocal enthusiasm for the country’s number one sport, in tandem with the worldwide boom in technology through the noughties, which oversaw a dramatic rise in the accessibility of online sportsbooks for Nigerian bettors, has helped to make online betting in Nigeria as big as it is today.

And it’s an obsession which shows no sign of stopping considering Nigerian players such as Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho, among others, star in the English Premier League on a weekly basis. Not to mention the success of the men’s national team which performed admirably in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

A little closer to home, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), also provides locals with ample opportunity to bet on the game they love.

But it’s mainly matches overseas in European competition which catches the imagination of Nigerian residents, especially now it’s possible to bet on other aspects of the game other than the final result. First/last goalscorer, amount of corners and total goals markets, manage to add more variety to the betting scene and, with it, bring more appeal.

Despite the title of this section, other sports do exist and are wagered on regularly by sports fans in Nigeria, including athletics, basketball, boxing, cycling and cricket.

Online Betting in Nigeria is Big Business

It’s thought over 60 million Nigerians – over a third of the population – spend a staggering N1.8 billion ($5 million) on betting daily, with this set to rise further with the internet becoming easily attainable for a lot more people.

It’ll be no surprise to see Nigeria, over the next five years, become one of the fastest-growing African countries when it comes to gambling, as is expected, boosting its economy to an unprecedented level in the process.

The popularity of online betting in Nigeria has seen many companies based in the country, converting their ‘brick-and-mortar’ presence, to a more profitable one, online.

As a result, Nigerian companies such as Bet9ja, Merrybet and Nairabet have been able to retain their customers, as well as provide hot competition for established online bookmakers such as Betfair, Betway and William Hill, looking to hone in on Africa’s most populated country where interest in betting seemingly has no boundaries.

This is of a great benefit to you, the bettor, who will be able to take advantage of hugely competitive odds and bonus/welcome offers released by a number of bookies all vying for new customers and a share of a crowded marketplace.

The best sportsbook for you

With this in mind, you’ll no doubt be wanting to get involved in online betting yourself. As a Nigerian resident though, there are a few points you must consider.

Safety First - Identify renowned bookie

More often than not, crime is prevalent in any line of business that attracts large sums of money, and with online betting in Nigeria as big as it is, scammers unfortunately will attempt to hack sensitive information and personal details.

So, follow our advice in choosing an online sportsbook that has a long-standing reputation in the betting industry. You can’t go wrong selecting from the list of bookies we’ve compiled; some of which have been around for decades and are known for their high levels of customer service and reliability.

Don’t get caught out by scam companies who may look to entice you with ‘too good to be true’ offers – if you have doubts or suspicions regarding the legitimacy of a company, you’re most likely right.

Think on your betting needs

Firstly, what will you be betting on primarily? Home sports? International or domestic competitions?

Betting sites based in Nigeria will cater for Nigerian betting tastes and competitions taking place at home, where as trying to find the latest Nigerian Professional Football League matches on overseas betting sites may prove more difficult. Consider this first, otherwise you could waste a lot of time.

(Perhaps, gambling on an online casino is more your thing? Most online bookmakers cater for all gambling desires and so include casino and sports betting all one platform, but not all do, in which case you may need separate bookies for each interest).

Nigerian friendly?

Of course, though, if it’s an offshore site you’ve opted for it has to cater to the needs of Nigerian residents, one way or another, so make sure it does.

It’s common knowledge that most of the leading international online bookmakers accept Nigerian bettors but do not accept the Naira currency so converting your money is a must.

Using an e-wallet or pre-paid solutions is the common method used to overcome this issue.

It’s common knowledge that most of the leading international online bookmakers accept Nigerian bettors but do not accept the Naira currency so converting your money is a must.

Given Nigeria’s healthy banking system however, payment options in the form of VISA and Mastercard should stand up, while it should be as straight forward receiving winnings also.

Betway and Bet365 in particular are known to meet the needs of Nigerian players.

Need to know when signing up to an online sportsbook in Nigeria:

  • Have all your personal details to hand eg. name, address, vaild e-mail address, legitimate bank account to transfer monies to and from. This should take no time at all.
  • Use a debit card to deposit monies to your betting account, if you can. It’s by far the easiest and quickest method. Direct bank deposits can also be made but this will involve making a trip to your local branch to credit your betting account.
  • Consider the use of an online e-wallet to convert your money.  Skrill, Neteller and EntroPay are among the most popular but other options may better suit and are also available.

Your 5-point guide to making a deposit from Nigeria:

  1. Fill in personal details and submit to set up account
  2. Go to Payments, Banking, Deposit page
  3. Select ‘Deposit’ and do so using a payment method that suits your needs.
  4. Settle on an affordable amount to deposit (here you also be asked whether to ‘opt-in’ for a bonus offer). Submit amount.
  5. Almost instantly, you should see that your money has been transferred over to your betting account wallet; you’re ready to start betting

The future of online betting in Nigeria

Online betting in Nigeria will soon surpass South Africa and Kenya as the continent’s leading market of online betting given with industry experts already claiming the sector generates $1 billion a year.

The fusion of factors mentioned previously – love of football, accessibility of technology, lower internet costs – has seen British online betting firm Betway waste no time in launching Betway Nigeria, and other leading bookies across Europe are known to be considering expanding their portfolio in Africa’s most populated country too.

Perhaps they’re waiting for customer sales to tip in favour of online betting, ahead of betting the more traditional way in a shop, given the two methods remain fairly even.

But considering the ease of betting apps and electronic payments, the cost of maintaining a brick and mortar presence and the nation’s obsession with all things football, it’s unlikely to be long until most of the big players from across Europe are setting up in Nigeria.

For you, the bettor, this is only positive news with increased competition meaning better value for money in terms of odds and improved standards across the board.

FAQ - Online betting in Nigeria

Is online betting legal in Nigeria?

Yes, providing you are 18 years of age, online sports betting is legal in Nigeria.

Do international betting companies accept Nigerian Naira (₦)?

As far as we are aware, no, international companies don’t allow bets to be placed using Nigerian Naira (₦).

Do bettors in Nigeria have to pay tax on their winnings?

Yes, bettors in Nigeria must pay tax on their winnings. With one of the higher tax rates globally, the amount could be substantial, depending on how much you win of course. Ensure you keep a check on your winnings as sportsbooks won’t often see deducting taxes as part of their duty.