BETTING NIGERIA The thrive and rise of sports betting in Nigeria 4 weeks ago Samuel Post Views: 196 Sports betting has been a part of Nigerian culture, albeit on a smaller scale. However, technological innovations such as the internet and mobile phone penetration have changed the country’s sports betting industry. More Nigerians can now bet on their favorite teams because online sports betting has made the betting platforms more accessible. The increase in the number of people placing sports bets has also attracted many international betting companies to Nigeria. Mobile And Internet Penetration With improving infrastructure, more and more Nigerians can access mobile phones and internet connection. The availability of more affordable smartphones has made it possible for more Nigerians to own smartphones. Studies reveal that over 47% of Nigerians accessed the internet via their mobile phones. This number is expected to grow to over 64% in 2025. This means that over 85 million Nigerians are mobile internet users. These are the numbers that have contributed significantly to the growth of online sports betting in the country. Football Betting Football is arguably the most popular sport in Nigeria. Data from sports betting companies like Betway reveal that most Nigerians bet on football. Apart from the local league, Nigerian punters like betting on the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and the German Bundesliga, among other top European leagues. They also bet on other popular football competitions like the FIFA World Cup, European Champions League, and the African Cup of Nations. The love for football has contributed significantly to the rise of the betting industry in the country. It is estimated that Nigerian punters spend on average 3000 Naira daily on sports betting. Youth Unemployment Statistics suggest that in 2020, the unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 14.2%. As a result, many of the youths turn their passion for sports into an income-generating activity. You see, it is easier for Nigerian youth to begin sports betting than it is to begin a business. All they need is a smartphone, an internet connection, and less than a dollar as starting capital. They take their online sports betting seriously that they form groups on social media to share ideas on how to put together a winning bet. Some have managed to earn a living from betting, while it has not been so rosy for others. All in all, their hope to win in the next bet is what has pushed the online sports betting industry to grow bigger in Nigeria. Many Betting Options The 85 million Nigerians using mobile internet have attracted many online betting operators to the Country. As competition amongst the operators becomes tight, they develop innovative ways of attracting new customers and keeping existing ones. This has seen international operators like Betway come up with very attractive bonuses and promotions. For example, there is a welcome bonus to attract new customers. They also have customer loyalty programs that ensure you stay put. Final Thoughts The number of mobile internet users in Nigeria is projected to grow in the near future. As the number grows, there is a high probability that more people will join sports betting. Furthermore, other sports like rugby, NFL, Hockey, and athletics are becoming more popular every day. So, the growth of the online sports betting industry in Nigeria is set to continue the upward trend. 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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