Nigeria Betting and Gambling Industry Post-Covid-19 Lockdown

Undoubtedly the year 2020 for many industries is a year to forget. Still, it’s an opportunity for a business boom for some sectors. Africa’s betting and gambling markets felt abrupt of the crisis outbreak.

However, the Nigeria gambling industry is one of the countries in Africa that was significantly impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic seeing the retail market of the betting and gambling industry affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, considering the popularity of the retail market segment of the Nigerian gambling industry. The Covid-19 lockdown in Nigeria gave the retail betting and gambling market a run for its money. Meanwhile, the country is currently in post-Covid-19 lockdown. At the same time, analyzing the current situation of the Nigeria gambling and betting market, which almost everything is back to what it used to be, seeing betting shops, kiosk all opened.

The leisure and entertainment sector are entertaining casino customers, of which the land-based casino operations are attached to hotels in Nigeria in the post-Covid-19 lockdown. Simultaneously, the recent data from Major Nigerian Gaming companies show sales in retail form of betting and gambling are closed back to pre-Covid-19 figures. Even though the global pandemic crisis upsurge resulted in the cancellation of several sporting events globally, especially the football leagues in major European countries, due to the surge of the virus in the early March of 2020, this development significantly influences the sports betting market, which in turn impacted many bookmakers in Africa and the Nigeria market inclusive-in terms of sales revenue. Coronavirus outbreak badly hit the Nigeria gaming industry, especially retail, and considering the love-affair Africans have for football; the suspension was one of its kind for Africa. The majority of their customers are football betting enthusiasts. It is more of bookmakers’ livelihood in Nigeria and Africa in general.

In contrast, the spread of the virus to other continents, including Africa, during mid-March 2020 prompts the governments of different African countries to impose a strict lockdown mandating all business and shops to close down, and restriction of movement was a second devastating blow to bookmakers, which the majority rely on retail while for many with little or nothing to offer this significantly impacted the Nigeria gambling industry seeing land-based casino outlets, other retail outlets operators had to close down their business for many months but some a robust online customers based. Still, as a result of these bookmakers and other operators had to recalibrate their company offerings to digital, online casinos, and virtual games were in high demand those with no casinos offering were introducing new products such as e-Sports, simulated virtual leagues to online customers to fill the void left by the suspension of significant sports leagues. These forced many to go online to have a feel of these products.

The data shows operators experienced tremendous traction of customers and new sign-up on their site-seeing retail centric customer tuning to the digital punters. However, as mentioned earlier, in the post-Covid-19 lockdown, the current situation and recent data from top gaming companies indicate the retail form of betting and gambling is still the king in Nigeria. But one thing is sure the global pandemic crisis has taught us that football betting is not the only preferred choice for bettors in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Still, with the right products and education, players can have a feel of other exciting products such as e-Sport betting, simulated virtual betting, while the Covid-19 pandemic crisis as also accelerated the youth interest in iGaming betting and gambling, which has pushed many young Nigerians to go online to place a bet during the lockdown.

However, many industry experts formally tip Africa as the next big iGaming market. The crisis has accelerated iGaming betting and gambling’s interest than first projected in Africa. Simultaneously, the fear of not contracting the virus through paper money also led to the exponential growth of iGaming betting and gambling in Nigeria. It is quite apparent that the country’s current situation indicates the retail form of betting and gambling is still the king in Nigeria.

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