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Decoding the Growth of Sports Betting in Nigeria


Nigeria’s recent expansion in this industry has been spectacular and rapid in terms of Africa’s sports betting landscape. Gambling was formerly a shunned pastime in Nigeria, but it has since become a popular way to spend money and time.

The activity has become so prevalent that approximately 3,000 Naira are gambled daily, and a staggering 730 billion Naira are wagered annually. In 2019, practically every street in Lagos contained a sports betting establishment because businesses have recognized this trend. Moreover, one can also witness how globally established betting platforms like Betway and other trustworthy platforms are flourishing in the Nigerian market, further indicating the potential of sports betting in the Nation. 

In this article, we will decode multiple factors that have led to the massive rise of sports betting in Nigeria.

Understanding the Craze behind Sports Betting

According to an intriguing NAN report, between 2019 and 2020, about 60 million Nigerians between 18 and 40 participated in the sports betting scene. These figures indicate the prevalence of the activity throughout Nigeria.

Additionally, sports betting has become a popular pastime among Nigerian youth. These incidents have coincided with the expansion of sports betting outlets, making engaging in the activity simpler and more convenient. A common sight in this store is many young people with their eyes fixed on the computer monitor.

Which Sports are the Most Popular

Nigerians wager on several different sports. Although this is true, certain tendencies determine one sport is superior to others more frequently. This is particularly noticeable in football. 

It may be tough to locate a child in Nigeria who is not interested in football. It might be argued that football is Nigeria’s most popular sport. National footballers, such as Rashidi Yekini and Austin Okocha, have contributed significantly to their respective fields. Additionally, the Super Eagles have been highly active in pursuing international titles. The country’s incredible football squad is just one factor that has contributed to football’s impact on Nigerian culture. 

Given this status, it is not difficult to conclude that football is the dominant sport in the marketplace for sports betting.

How Online Sports Betting Fueled the Rise

In addition to the existence of sports betting establishments, virtual sports betting solutions have contributed to the industry’s growth. In 2019, the country’s market for sports betting was estimated to be $2 billion (roughly 871 billion Naira). The sector has been expanding and will continue to grow as more mobile, and online options become accessible.

This increase coincided with the expansion of mobile phone and internet coverage as more people obtained Internet access and mobile phones, the prevalence of sports betting increased.

In addition to the availability of such facilities, online gambling apps and platforms ultimately augmented the entire picture. These applications and websites have streamlined the sports betting process for Nigerians. One can access authorized and reputable betting websites and mobile apps to place a sports wager. They can easily use online payout or payment solutions to transfer funds from their bank accounts or e-wallets to betting platforms.

Physical sports betting establishments and retail outlets have begun to accept virtual payment methods. This accessibility has allowed Nigerian sports bettors to develop and multiply.

What Does the Future Holds?

These statistics demonstrate how extensive the sports betting industry and market are. When adequately regulated and governed, the sector may considerably benefit the economy and society. This is certainly relevant if the nation finds a balance between the public funds generated from these applications and addiction control.

Even though this industry has the potential to generate substantial economic gains, it is essential not to compromise psychological well-being. As gambling patterns keep rising, policymakers may face the formidable dilemma of establishing a limitation without impeding the industry’s growth.



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