EXPERTS NIGERIA Nigerian iGaming market on the rise 8 months ago Samuel Post Views: 478 Online gaming might not be the first thing that people associate with Nigeria. However, this country with a population of over 211 million is becoming prominent in the online gambling industry. As this development only happened in the last few years, let’s take a look at the size of Nigeria’s iGaming market, the options available, and how the laws compare to other African countries. How big is the size of the market? The seventh-most populated country in the world is seeing a steady rise in the economy and quality of life. That means that residents have more and more money they can put on the line and engage in gambling activities. It’s estimated that the country’s gambling market generates somewhere between $400 and $500 billion every year. Furthermore, Nigerians annually spend around $2 billion on online gambling. On average, citizens spend approximately ₦3,000 ($7.30) on casino activities on a daily basis. And players see gambling as a way to earn money without heavy labor. What options are available to players? When it comes to the forms of gambling that Nigerians can choose from, online casinos and sports betting are the most prominent in the country. With such a large population, it’s only normal that many people love sports and decide to put some money on the line while testing their knowledge of teams and players from all over the world. As there is a wide array of sports, the bets that punters can place are countless. On the other hand, online casinos offer all sorts of games. Interested players can find everything from slots in numerous themes to blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and poker. Although there are some local land-based options, players usually opt for international casinos that offer better conditions and higher bonuses. What do the laws say? With all that in mind, what do the laws say in terms of gambling in Nigeria? The regulations can be quite confusing, actually. For example, gambling is only allowed in the three land-based casinos located in the country. In addition to casino games, card games of skill and backgammon are also legal, while pure gambling games and dice are prohibited everywhere except in the casinos that are licensed. However, Nigerian laws do not address online gambling. That means that residents are free to gamble online without the fear of persecution. But, as online casino gaming is also not regulated and taxed in the country, Nigeria also doesn’t see any profits from this enjoyment. And the laws are not confusing only in Nigeria. Similar goes for other countries in the region. For instance, in South Africa the legality of online gambling is sort of in the gray area. While sports betting is available both in online and retail form, online casinos are a different story. Similar to Nigeria, the government usually only targets operators and not individuals that want to play casino games on the internet, so playing on international websites is still available. In other words, it is officially forbidden to run and operate a casino, but when it comes to players, they are free to indulge in any type of online gambling games provided by foreign websites. This also means that players are eligible not only to play different games, but enjoy special benefits. This gives players the chance to try a casino out for free before making a final sign-up decision. Kenya, on the other hand, has moved to legalize all forms of gambling and betting. With a 20% tax on winnings, the government has found a way to cash in on this practice. With smartphones being used more and the infrastructure improving, the iGaming market in Nigeria is only expected to rise further. Whether the state will legalize online casinos and get an economic boost by licensing a few remains to be seen. Source: pulse.ng SamuelI am a journalist specializing in gambling in Africa and around the world. I am particularly interested in stories about games and casinos. 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