Considering Africa’s sports betting landscape, Nigeria’s growth in this field has been quite remarkable and fast in recent years. In the past, gambling was a stigmatized activity; but now, it has become popular in Nigeria as a way of spending both money and time.
The craft has become so common that around 3,000 Naira is wagered each day while a whopping 730 billion Naira is wagered annually. Businesses have also acknowledged this rising trend and so in 2019, almost every street across Lagos had a sports betting outlet in it. Nigerians can also check out sports betting sites such as sportbookcasinos.com to wager their bets. This feat just reflects how big the sports betting market has grown in Nigeria.
There are a variety of sports that Nigerians bet on. While this is true, some trends determine which sport is better on more compared to others. This is most evident in Football, specifically.
When exploring Nigeria, it may be difficult to find a kid that is not engrossed with the said sport. It is even arguable that football is the most famous sport in Nigeria. Several instances can account for this. For one, national football players, such as Austin Okocha and Rashidi Yekini, have all made a huge impact in their fields. The Super Eagles have also been very active in fighting for international titles.
The country’s impressive football team is just one of the aspects that have led football to make a mark in Nigerian culture. Given this standing, concluding football’s prominence in the sports betting market is not difficult. The mere fact that the internationally acclaimed Super Eagles are from Nigeria itself just shows how people feel free to explore this specific sports betting turf.
An interesting finding from the NAN (News Agency of Nigeria) revealed that there are around 60 million Nigerians, ranging from ages 18 to 40 years old, that are active in the sports betting landscape last 2019 to 2020. These numbers give an idea of how prominent the activity is across Nigeria.
Sports betting has also become an inculcated activity of Nigerian youth. While the numbers of NAN covered those from 18 to 40 years old, some teenagers start sports betting even before that age. These occurrences have worked hand-in-hand with the increasing availability of sports betting outlets, making it even easier and more accessible to engage in the craft. A typical sight within this shop would be the abundance of young people (usually adolescents or young men) whose eyes are glued to the computer screen.
Aside from the availability of sports betting outlets, online sports betting alternatives have also fueled its popularity. It was reported in 2019 that the country’s entire sports betting market amounted to 2 billion worth of US dollars (roughly 871 billion Naira). The industry has been growing and is expected to rise even further as more online and mobile alternatives become available.
This increase also went alongside the expansion of internet coverage and mobile phone reach. As more people got to access the Internet and own mobile phones, sports betting became even more widespread.
More than the availability of such services, online betting apps and sites eventually boosted the overall picture as well. These apps and sites have simplified the entire sports betting process for Nigerians. Nigerians can simply tune into legitimate and esteemed betting apps and sites to place a sports bet. They can simply opt for online payout or payment systems to process their financial proceedings from e-wallets or bank accounts to betting sites.
Physical sports betting outlets and convenience stores have also started catering to virtual payment options. Such availability has led Nigerian sports bettors to flourish and increase in number.
All of these data just show how big of an industry and market sports betting is. When regulated and controlled appropriately, the industry may significantly uplift the economy and overall society. This would be especially true if the country achieves a balance between public funds collected from these apps and control against addiction.
While significant economic gains can be reaped from this industry, it is important to also not to sacrifice positive psychological wellbeing. As gambling trends continue to rise, leaders may have to face the major challenge of setting a boundary without necessarily hampering the growth of the industry.