Most Popular Bookies in Nigeria

Nigerian betting sites have become popular in the last decade. An increasing number of operators are setting up shop in the country. Today, dozens of bookies accept Nigerian punters. But then, not all of them are worth players' time. For those who are not sure of the best Nigerian betting sites, a team of experts goes to great lengths and samples the top-rated operators to prepare a list of the best betting sites.

Betting is big business in Nigeria. The country has one of the largest betting industries in Africa. According to statistics, over 60 million Nigerians bet. On a typical day, Nigerians bet over $25 million. These statistics beg the question, why is betting popular in Nigeria?

Most Popular Bookies in Nigeria
Betting in NigeriaBetting nowadays in NigeriaAre betting sites legal in Nigeria?Gambling age in NigeriaNigerian players' favorite gamesPayment methods in NigeriaFAQs
Betting in Nigeria

Betting in Nigeria

The first reason is that Nigerians are into sports, especially soccer. The local soccer league is among the best in Africa, while the national team is ranked 32nd globally. What's more? There are fans of the top-flight leagues, for example, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, etc. Many Nigerian sports fans don't just follow the action; they also bet on their favorite teams.

The fantastic sports betting bonuses and other promotions play a vital role in popularizing betting in Nigeria. Many bettors get attracted by the free bets, welcome deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, cashback, and VIP programs, among other goodies.

The Nigerian sports betting industry has come a long way. In this segment, find out the history of betting in the West African country, its current state, and what the future holds.

History of betting in Nigeria

Gambling, including sports betting, has always existed in Nigeria despite being criticized by religion. It was common to find casual gamblers betting on soccer, the country's national sport. By the 90s, betting was in the land casinos only, but it attracted many gamblers.

1n 1990, the government saw the need to regulate the gambling industry. It introduced the 1990 Criminal Code Act, which legalized many forms of gambling, including sports betting. This was a move meant to generate revenue for the government and protect gamblers. The legalization of betting became a vital driver of the industry now that punters could bet without fear of prosecution, and the markets were safer.

A decade after sports betting was legalized, technology changed everything. Bettors could now wager on their favorite teams from the comfort of their sofas, courtesy of iGaming. The gamechanger was the launch of the first sports betting site, NairaBet, in 2009 by Oloye Akin Alabi. While many other offshore bookies accepted Nigerian players, NairaBet became a fan favorite as it was custom-tailored for Nigerians.

With Nigerians having an insatiable appetite for betting, more betting sites started cropping up, and in no time, there were dozens of betting brands operating in the country.

Betting in Nigeria
Betting nowadays in Nigeria

Betting nowadays in Nigeria

The Nigerian betting industry has grown exponentially. Today, it's one of the fastest-growing betting markets in Africa, courtesy of the country's huge population. Several reasons have shaped the industry.

First, advances in technology have made the internet available to many Nigerians, thus making online betting sites more accessible. According to the latest statistics, Nigeria's internet penetration is 51%. This means that more Nigerian punters can access online betting sites.

Another dynamic is the availability of affordable smartphones. Unlike in the past, when smartphones were expensive, Nigerians can purchase smartphones for as little as $50. The fast smartphone adoption has been a critical dynamic in the growth of online betting and online gambling in general.

Mobile betting sites have also played a part in the success of the Nigerian betting industry. As the name suggests, mobile betting sites are betting platforms engineered for smooth gameplay on mobile devices. They can be accessed using a browser or apps for iOS and Android devices.

The role of incentives also can't be overlooked. To remain competitive, betting operators line up plenty of betting offers for both new and existing players. Bookies float welcome bonuses to attract new players and reload bonuses and cashback for player retention. As much as strict wagering requirements bind these offers, they are still one of the reasons the betting industry is growing.

Future of betting in Nigeria

There's no doubt the future is bright for the Nigerian betting industry. The government has legalized the industry and allows players to wager on local and offshore betting sites.

One of the factors that will undoubtedly shape the future of the online sports betting industry is flexible payment gateways. Today, Nigeria has plenty of online payment solutions that allow players to deposit and withdraw funds easily.

Bitcoin betting sites are also cropping up courtesy of the crypto revolution. Like in the rest of the world, punters in Nigeria are always looking for crypto betting sites as cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum facilitate anonymous gambling.

Betting nowadays in Nigeria
Gambling age in Nigeria

Gambling age in Nigeria

To bet legally in Nigeria or engage in any other form of gambling, players must be at least 18 years. Unfortunately, there are many cases of underage gambling in the country, and that's why the government reiterates the importance of player protection. It is the responsibility of bookmakers to ensure that anyone registering on their site is of legal age.

Betting taxes in Nigeria

Gambling tax has been viewed as one of the ways to economic recovery in Nigeria. According to the law, bookmakers and winners must pay taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

It's the responsibility of punters to remit 24% tax on their winnings, but luckily, the government doesn't control online betting, so punters forgo paying taxes. Betting companies must also pay taxes to the government. Currently, only the local companies are paying taxes; offshore betting sites have no obligation to pay taxes, at least by law. However, a new bill in the pipeline seeks to force offshore betting companies to pay taxes to the Nigerian government.

Betting acts

The laws in Nigeria have been evolving. In this segment, check out some of the main betting Acts that have shaped the legal frameworks of betting in the country.

  • Criminal Code Act of 1990 - This is the backbone of the betting laws in Nigeria. It made sports betting, among other forms of gambling, legal in a move by the government to boost its revenues through taxes.
  • National Lottery Act of 2005 - This Act led to establishing the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, a body that oversees all forms of gambling in the country, including betting.
  • National Gaming Bill - Though still under discussion, this Act seeks to overhaul the current industry and ensure that foreign betting companies pay taxes to the Nigerian government.
Gambling age in Nigeria
Nigerian players' favorite games

Nigerian players' favorite games

Soccer, Nigeria's national sport, is a favorite among sports bettors. Bettors wager on the local soccer leagues, including the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and Nigerian National League (NNL). Besides the local leagues, Nigerian punters wager on matches in top-flight European leagues, for example, the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, etc.

Some bet on NBA matches. Other popular sports that Nigerian bettors wager on include volleyball, cricket, baseball, American football, golf, tennis, and motorsports, to mention a few.

Besides the live matches, there are many fans of virtual sports betting. For starters, virtual sports are computer-generated games that simulate real sports, for example, soccer. Nigerian betting sites' best virtual sports include virtual soccer, virtual basketball, greyhounds, virtual horse racing, and virtual motorsports.

Like in the rest of the world, eSports betting in Nigeria also has plenty of fans who bet on the top-rated sports simulation games such as FIFA and NBA2K. In addition, there are also betting fans of shooter video games, including Valorant, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Apex Legends, etc.

Nigerian players' favorite games
Payment methods in Nigeria

Payment methods in Nigeria

Most companies operating in Nigeria are real money sports betting sites. That means players need to load their accounts to get in the game. So, what are the available currencies and payment methods?

Currencies at Nigerian betting sites

Most Nigerian betting sites avail fiat currencies, with the Naira, Nigeria's official currency, as the most popular. Besides the Naira, some bookmakers support international currencies, including the US dollar (USD), euro (EUR), Canadian dollar (CAD), Australian dollar (AUD), Japanese Yen (JPY), and South African rand (ZAR), and so on.

For those who want to bet anonymously, select Nigerian bookies also support cryptos, for example, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).

Deposit and withdrawal methods

To facilitate fast and easy payments, Nigerian sportsbooks have partnered with all the popular payment methods in the country. Players can deposit and withdraw funds using credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard. Other options include OPay, Quickteller, GT Bank Online, EmailMoni, Paystack, Interswitch, Polaris Mobile Deposit, and UBA Instant Bills Pay.

Safety at Nigerian betting sites

Players are always advised to mind about security when gambling online. Most Nigerian betting sites are safe as long as they are appropriately licensed. However, experts strongly advise players against joining unlicensed sites.

Payment methods in Nigeria
FAQs

FAQs

Is sports betting illegal in Nigeria?

No. Sports betting is legal in Nigeria. All sports betting activities are licensed and controlled by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Lagos State Lottery Board. It is also worth noting that punters can also bet with licensed offshore operators.

Is it legal to bet at offshore betting sites?

Yes. Nigerian players are free to play at offshore betting sites. There are no rules that restrict players from wagering with offshore bookmakers. As far as making payments goes, Nigerian bettors can always use international payment gateways to deposit and withdraw funds at these sites.

Are there betting bonuses at Nigerian sites?

Yes. Nigerian betting operators float bonuses such as welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, cashback, and much more. But players should be aware of the wagering requirements when claiming these offers.

Which are the best betting sites in Nigeria?

The best Nigerian betting sites must first have a valid license from the Nigerian authorities or any other renowned betting regulatory authority. Besides licensing, the best sites have vast betting markets and the highest odds. Players should also scout for lucrative bonuses.

Are there bitcoin betting sites in Nigeria?

Yes. The top-rated brands allow players to use fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies. They accept both the Naira and international currencies. As for cryptos, players can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.

FAQs