Nigerian Online Gambling Enjoy a Surge
Nigeria Experiences Massive Spike in Gambling
Many African countries are experiencing a surge in casino gaming and sports betting. Recent statistics show that Nigeria is firmly within this group. About 40% of the total population is reported to engage in some form of online or land-based gambling. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), NOIPolls and other leading firms have conducted the research, which sheds light on the country’s gambling habits.
NOIPolls was created in 2006 as an independent polling agency for the West African region. With regards to Nigerian gambling, NOIPolls assessed opinions on the prevalence of and reasons for betting activities.
Of the citizens polled, 77% said gambling in their locality was high. In the Southwest and South-South, 92% and 91% respectively said they felt that betting was common. A total of 36% of respondents said that they or a family member personally engage in casino games or sports bets.
Of this group, 53% gamble daily and 8% report that they have never won. These numbers might be even higher, as some people may not have disclosed their participation for feat of societal stigmatisation. Significantly, just 1% said they rarely place wagers or play games.
The poll also found that people prefer betting platforms with favourable odds, prompt payments and ease of use. Finally, participants gave the following reasons why Nigerians engage in gambling:
- Quest for quick money – 30%
- High unemployment rate” -21%
- Greed – 15%
- To cushion the effect of economic hardship – 12%
- Poverty – 10%
- Just for fun – 5%
- Peer group influence – 2%
Reasons for the Growth
From the research, experts have concluded that the increase in Nigerian gambling is due to greater Internet access over various devices, economic hardships and the country’s population. Nigeria has a high proportion of citizens aged between 18 and 40, and according to NAN around 60 million Nigerians aged 18 to 40 are actively involved in sports betting with an average daily spend of N3,000.
Nigeria is also home to millions of sports fans that regularly bet on game results at sites like Bet9ja. This is also believed to account for some of the gambling industry’s growth. While the casino and sportsbook industries have the potential to generate huge tax revenue, the risks for customer abuse and problem gambling behaviors must also be considered.
Gambling of all kinds is strictly prohibited for anyone under the age of 18 in Nigeria. For bettors and players who are of legal age, all online and land-based gambling is permitted. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission regulates the industry, and many are calling for stricter legislation. They say Nigeria needs to retain the benefits of a thriving betting sector, while avoiding the potential pitfalls.