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Nigeria – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
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.
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.
- Is the casino licensed to operate in Nigeria?
- What do review sites say of the casino?
- Is there an enticing welcome offer?
- Will you be able to use your preferred payment methods?
- Will you be able to participate in any promotions?
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.