Over the past few years, Nigeria has emerged as a very lucrative sports betting market not just in Africa but across the world stage as well. As it stands, the country boasts of a massive gambling market. It is thus no surprise that sports betting is also making its mark in the territory.
Even expert betting hubs such as offshoresportsbooks.com often list it as one of the key markets for many offshore sportsbooks. Some studies and surveys have even ranked it among the top 10 online sports betting markets on the planet.
Nigeria has a lot of things going for it that make it a thriving hub for sports betting activity. To begin with, its young and very youthful population are invested in sporting activities. Naturally, sports betting almost always accompanies widespread interest in sporting activities.
Facilitating all this is the country’s vibrant economy which has led to the gradual increase in internet and network penetration. Mobile devices which are the primary way through which people access sports betting services are also more affordable. Brands have been targeting the Nigerian market not just because of what it is right now, but also what it is becoming. Not many sports betting markets come even close to showing that much potential.
The Top Operators
Unsurprisingly, lots of gambling operators have had their sights set on the Nigerian market. Several of the companies have since pursued entry into the country’s gambling market. As it stands, the country has a host of sports betting platforms owned, operated, and backed by top global betting brands.
That not only means that the bettors have a wide host of options to choose from but also that the government can reap tax revenue from the operations.
From the economic perspective, the sheer number of sports betting brands in the country is proof that there is a lot to be made from the market. The top sports betting operators make millions every year from their activities. That has translated to more tax revenue for state coffers. However, the best kind of impact seems to be from such things as sponsorships which sports betting brands are popular for. These should grow immensely as the sector continues to grow.
Now, when it comes to the social aspect of the impacts, things are a little different. Socially, sports betting has always been a controversial topic just like other kinds of gambling activities. Perhaps the most notable issue in this regard is problem gambling. Very many people have gotten into financial problems due to irresponsible sports betting activities. That is barely enough to justify the removal of the sector but it certainly warrants the need for more scrutiny.
Regulation of Sports Betting in Nigeria
To achieve the full potential of sports betting, there must be proper guidelines and regulations to steer the sector. Most of the gaming laws in Nigeria are established by the Criminal Code. Gaming licenses in the country are issued out by several bodies include Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML), and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).
Some gambling service providers are further required to obtain Capital Importation Certificate and liaise with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to get a Tax Identification Number and for Value Added Tax (VAT). All that is great to help in achieving the full economic potential of the sector.
However, there is no oversite over offshore gambling sites which are still quite popular. That is an area that the government misses out on a ton of revenue. There have also been concerns over the need for an update to the laws. Consumer protection, for instance, is becoming more and more important especially as gambling-related harm becomes more prominent.
What This Means for Sports Betting Across Africa
Financial experts and industry gurus have some very high expectations for the Nigerian sports betting sector. The country is not an island though and its growth represents a situation that is very similar to what is happening across the developing African continents. Sports betting is a huge deal across several countries on the continent. These include Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, and Tanzania among others.
While these are still quite young, the potential that they have cannot be taken for granted. Thankfully, this is a perfect chance for the operators to learn from previous mistakes. Optimizing revenues and staying on the right side of the law while at the same time giving back to the societies in those places should be key priorities. Some have already figured this out.