November 1, 2023

‘More than 65m Nigerians engage in betting amid economic hardship’

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Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund, NLTF, Bello Maigari, has said more than 65 million Nigerians spend millions on betting, despite worsening economic hardship.

Maigari also said the global online betting market had experienced exponential growth, making it worth over $50 billion.

The NLTF boss, who made the observation while speaking at the national gaming conference in Lagos, said:   “It is not out of place to look at some statistics that underscore the significance of this industry and situate its centrality in promoting the renewed hope agenda of this administration.

“As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the global online betting market was estimated to be worth over $50 billion, and it has continued to grow significantly since then.

“In Nigeria, the online betting sector has seen exponential growth, with millions of Nigerians engaging in various forms of online gaming and betting.”

According to a report published in March 2023 by Orange Business Intelligence Technology, ORBIT, Nigeria’s betting industry reached over $2 billion in revenue in 2020, with over 60 million Nigerians between 18 and 40 spending $5.5 million daily.

A National Sports Industry Policy from the same year estimated that the industry could generate up to $4.7 billion in annual revenue, create 10 million jobs, and generate between 1.5-3% of GDP over ten years.

“With a population of over 200 million people and the largest betting market in Africa, our country is making giant strides in online sports betting.”

“Currently, there are over 65 million Nigerians actively engaging in this activity, spending $15 on average every day. On record daily, 14 million bets are taken, and payments are made online. “

“It is expected to experience an annual growth rate of nearly 10% to reach more than $366 million by 2027,” Maigari said.

Maigari also suggested that the federal government should create a framework that can encourage the industry to contribute to taxes in the country.

“Moreover, leveraging the gaming and betting industry as a tax contributor can help create a level playing field for local and international operators,” he said.

The betting industry is also one of the fastest-growing in the country on increased mobile and internet penetration driven mainly by the football culture.

According to reports, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and the Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) have also issued over 100 betting licenses.