Nigeria claimed its independence from the United Kingdom back in 1960 and has since become the most populous and economically strong country on the African continent. Over 200 million people call Nigeria home, making it the seventh most populated country in the world. Lagos remains the country’s largest city, which is also the most densely populated on the continent. These numbers are hard to avoid for any industry and the online casino industry has made a lot of effort over recent years to attempt to crack the African market as a whole. Nigeria is therefore on the top of the list for any organization looking to enter the scene. Fortunately, Nigeria is one of the few African countries with a regulated online casino market.
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Legal gambling activities really kicked off in Nigeria following the 2005 National Lottery Act. This makes the country a much more attractive place to gamble in when compared to most other African countries. As a player, you will therefore be able to find plenty of options out there, although it still pays to have your wits about you. One of the main benefits of playing from a regulated market is being able to have the law on your side, should something go wrong, although it is always preferable to try and avoid such a scenario.
Relying on trusted sources to ensure that you can avoid any operations that are illegitimate or simply not worth your time is still a recommended practice for people playing from a regulated market. That’s why we recommend you keep things locked in here at GoodLuckMate, where we provide you with unbiased and concise casino reviews written by industry veterans.
Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act of 1990 outlines most forms of gambling as illegal. Activities that avoid this categorization are those that can be argued as games of skill. Wagering on card games like poker, as well as backgammon, are therefore considered legal activities. There is also the national lottery that locals can participate in. No law outright defines online activities though, which therefore makes the activity legal simply by default. Despite the lack of legalities, local online operations have still been able to open up. The first Nigerian online casino opened its doors in 2013 but has since closed down, unfortunately.
Today there are numerous other web-based operations in Nigeria, many of which primarily focus on sports betting. What really paved the way was the National Lottery Act of 2005, which instigated the formation of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. The commission’s responsibility is to oversee the industry within the borders of Nigeria, while also having the power to distribute and retract gambling licenses.
Nigerian players have a lot of good options to choose from. Localization options might still be relatively limited when trying to find something that offers up specific localization options for Nigeria. Luckily, the industry works on a set of standards that do serve to benefit Nigerian players. English is the default language of the industry and big sporting events like the World Cup are prominently featured at sportsbooks around the world. You can also expect the localization options provided by overseas operations to increase for Nigeria over time, as more and more sites look towards further horizons than fully saturated markets like those found in Europe.
The local sports betting sites are where you will most easily find the largest range of localization options, but a lot of expectations have been set on the future of the African market. There are many industry heavyweights and African representatives who are working on building up a solid foundation for complete saturation of the African market with Nigeria being one of the main stars of the show. Achieving this will naturally mean an unprecedented range of localization options for players around the continent.
Usually, online casinos are much more incentivized to provide local currency support for very specific regulated territories. Nigeria does have the advantage of a booming population and economy though, which makes the work required to set up further currency support all the more worthwhile. You will therefore be able to find some larger sites that are equipped to handle Naira. Most sites are not there yet though and will therefore ask you to instead create a player account in euros or US dollars.
You will still be able to choose from a range of payment methods, often including various payment cards, e-wallets, bank transfer options and other more niche methods. Paystack and Flutterwave are particularly common payment solutions that have been adopted by several online casinos, allowing players from African with some extra local options. Cryptocurrencies have also proven themselves very popular with players recently, as they can be bought with local currencies and then played with at specific sites.
There are three large land-based casinos operating in Nigeria today with two in Lagos and one in the capital of Abuja. These all consist of a hotel complex with an added casino venue implemented into the establishment. There are also numerous sports betting shops that can be found around the country, which is where players can find the least restrictions. It is certainly quite common for a government to look more favorably on sports betting and games of skill over games of chance.
The current regulations mean that local players are in an envious position when compared to many of their African neighbors. Both local and overseas online casinos are already taking advantage of a fully regulated market that is over a decade old. Nothing is more attractive to an operation than a large player base in an economically stable territory and Nigeria certainly fits the bill there. It is therefore a safe bet to say that Nigeria’s casino industry will continue to rise over the coming years.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.