The online betting craze in Nigeria is fast and furious

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend about the betting culture in Nigeria and he recounted an incident involving a man who walked into a loan office in a commercial complex.

Downstairs in the same complex, there was a betting shop where this man soon made his way into, looking to turn his small loan into a fortune. Sadly, Lady Luck had other plans, and he lost all of his money. Realizing he could not make good on his loan, he drank himself into a stupor and slept in front of the complex.

Not trying to leave you on a cliffhanger, I do not remember the rest of that story, but I’ll leave what happened afterwards to your imagination.

While it would be wrong to lump every bettor based on this particular tale, it does offer a glimpse into the betting culture in Nigeria, even amidst the country’s persistent economic challenges.

Recent findings by Nigeria’s National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) indicate a remarkable upsurge in gambling, with approximately 65 million active participants collectively wagering nearly a billion dollars every day.

The figure which stands at exactly $975 million daily equates to an average of $15 (approximately ₦15,000 naira) per person. This means that up to 14 million bets and online transactions are made in the country daily.

The irony of this situation becomes evident when we consider the economic state of the country. According to Numbeo, the average daily expenses for an individual living in a city in Nigeria hovers around ₦10,000 (excluding rent).

You don’t need to be a mathematician to see the significant disparity between the cost of living and the substantial amounts 65 million Nigerians are willing to stake in the pursuit of quick-betting wins.

One question that lingers on my mind is: can betting ever be responsible?

To more wins,

– Emmanuel


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