Inside Nigeria’s bourgeoning Sports betting industry

The increasing rate at which sports betting companies emerge in the country clearly indicates that gambling is fast becoming an acceptable norm among Nigerians despite being detested in the past.

Children, youth and the elderly across both sexes now engage in sports betting without bathing an eyelid. Since September 7, 2018, when the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) issued the Africa Betting Company Nigeria Ltd (Afribet) a five-year licence to operate as a sports betting company in the country, additional 35 such licences have been issued in the last three years, the latest being the Winners Golden Bet Nigeria Ltd (Winners Golden Bet) which got its five-year licence on June 19, 2020.

Other operators formally listed by the NLRC are KC Gaming Bet (Bet9ja); AlphaGram West Africa Ltd (Alpahgramwa); Sporty Internet Ltd (Sportybet); Promoserve Inter Links Ltd (iBet); Digi Bay Limited (Betway); Over the Top Entertainment Ltd (Nairabet); TM Gaming Ltd (Access Bet); Blackbet Ltd (Blackbet); Crystral Gaming Limited (Betbiga); Naijabet Limited (Naijabet); Interactive Gaming Solutions Limited (Cloud Bet); VisaTech Limited (BetLion); Calgary Online Limited (BETPAWA); Beaufortbet Nigeria Limited (1Xbet); Mobile Sport Limited (Msport) and Advance Hospitality Limited (Betwinner).

There are also Bet24hrs Gaming Company Limited (BET24HRS); EPL Partners Nigeria Limited (BETBONANZA); Zegaming Nigeria Limited (ZEBET); Mobile Sport Limited (MSPORT); Interwetten Nigeria Limited (Interwetten); Shade International Gaming Limited (Betika); Otrada Hospitality Limited (Melbet); Infinity Mobile Gaming & Entertainment Limited (Bangbet); SV Gaming Limited (BETKING); Neomobile Entertainment Ltd (Booster 99); Arcadia Hospitality Limited (22BET); Merrybet Gold Limited (MERRYBET); Lucky9ja Lotto Limited (ILOT); Soloti Gaming Ltd (FRAPAPA); N1 Interactive Africa Limited (N1); Starlight Ace Verde Gaming Ltd (Star Bet) and West Africa Betting Investment Limited (Betmojo).

These betting companies have taken advantage of Nigeria’s huge size and population and are scattered across the nooks and crannies of the country such that many Nigerians can easily access them, both online and offline, and have embraced betting as another formal way of making money. In fact, these days, a lot of people who abuse or praise the coach of a football club or his players for winning or losing a game do so not because of their love for the club but because the result of the match either “tore their ticket” or put money in their pockets. This is also the case with other sports, whether it is tennis, water polo, ice hockey, baseball, boxing or cycling.

Many of those who patronise these betting companies confessed to The Guardian that because of the economic situation of the country, betting has become an attractive means of livelihood and not just a mere pastime.

One of them, Kafayat Adelakun, who resides in Oshodi area of Lagos State, said: “If there is any time that betting is productive, it is this era of hardship in this country. Only last week I won N30, 000 after playing with N600 only. What else can give me that kind of money? The N30, 000 I won went a long way for my family, even though the high cost of living made the money seem very insignificant. The truth is, I don’t see myself relaxing my betting habit because it has done me more good than harm.”

Adelakun admitted that he had lost money to sports betting in the past and expressed regret venturing into it during such times. However, he said he was most times consoled by the fact that some of his friends who win significant money get generous with it.

“Two weeks ago, a friend of mine who sells sachet water won N60, 000 and she gave me N5, 000. When I won my N30, 000, I gave some money to another friend who was struggling to make ends meet. So, to me, it’s a win-win situation,” – he said.

Read full article HERE

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.