Last updated on: March 18th, 2022

Legal Sports Betting In Nigeria

Expanding internet availability has allowed Nigeria’s legal sports betting industry to flourish. Reports indicate that Nigerians wager roughly $2 billion annually with sanctioned sportsbooks, and that number will only rise as online betting becomes more prevalent. In 2014, it was estimated that Nigerians collectively make about 60 million wagers every day, and that number could see continued growth as the Nigerian economy continues to blossom. Nigeria has the fastest-growing population among the world’s most populous countries and is expected to surpass the United States as the world’s third most populous nation by 2050.

Online sports betting has been legal in Nigeria since 2005, and it has become a lucrative enterprise both for private businesses and for the government, which collects a portion of sports betting revenues in taxes. Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are still illegal in Nigeria because of concerns about how they might endanger participants or compromise the integrity of sporting competitions in the country. Most betting in Nigeria still goes through unregulated underground bookies, which is bad both for the Nigerian economy and for bettors themselves. Expanding regulated sports betting will likely remain a big focus for Nigeria as it looks for new ways to monetize its rapidly growing population. 

Legality Of Sports Betting In Nigeria

Legal sports betting in Nigeria didn’t become officially regulated until 2005, with the passing of the National Lottery Act. This essentially defined which forms of gambling in the country was deemed legal, including lottery, casino games as well as online sports betting. At the state level in the country, a committee was set up the nation’s largest city Lagos called the Lagos State Lottery Board. The committee was established by the Lagos State Lotteries Laws Cap L89 2004 Laws of Lagos State. The LSLB is responsible for the regulating of lotteries, online sports betting, scratch-off games, casino games, pools betting and more.

According to Chapter 22 of Nigeria’s Criminal Code, most forms of gambling are considered illegal. This is with the exception of skill-based card games, the Nigerian Lottery, and the countries three licensed casinos. One of the more notable offenses that occur is ownership of a gambling machine which has been a major problem in the country but has yet to be enforced seriously. Owning a gambling machine in Nigeria carries a sentence of up to a year in jail. One of the main problems plaguing the country is that a majority of the gambling that goes on is illegal. Fake sportsbooks, underground casinos, and unauthorized lotteries are a mainstay in the developing nation, so it’s generally considered best to use online sportsbooks that are offshore and are regulated.

Is Online Sports Betting In Nigeria Legal?

It’s not to say that online betting is or is not illegal in Nigeria, it simply has to do with the outdated legislation. Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act of 1990 and the National Lottery Act of 2005 only vaguely explain the legalities of gambling in Nigeria. This is one of the main issues facing bettors in the country is that unlawful or illegal gambling practices take place and occur often. Simply put, based on the current legislation in the country, there actually is no law that specifically regulates online betting as opposed to other forms of gambling. Nigerian code states that “skill-based” gambling is considered legal gaming. Online betting is still dependent on skills in math and statistics so, by definition, this is what most bettors in the country go off of.

If the details of it are a little too confusing for your risks, you do have other options to place bets. Nigeria has three government-licensed land-based casinos where you can place bets, enjoy slots or other skill-based casino games. Outside of the country’s three land-based casinos, online sportsbooks have popped up all throughout the country. The first to open was NairaBet, licensed by the Nigerian government, which now has over 100,000 active users. Other online sportsbooks to use are Bet9ja ($10 million monthly turnover rate, Bet365Naija as well as MerryBet. There are also sportbooks such as BetOnline that accept players from Nigeria, though there may be a restriction on the bonus codes that can be used.

Nigeria Sports Betting Sites

Although there are some retail sportsbooks in Nigeria, we recommend that you stick with online Nigeria sports betting sites. The main reason is that there is no government entity keeping an eye on retail sportsbooks in Nigeria. Oversight is necessary to make sure that everything is being done fairly. All the online sportsbooks we recommend are licensed in their respective countries. They have the absolute best security to make sure that no one can access your information and they have fair odds on all of your favorite games.

MyBookie Sportsbook

MyBookie – Get $1,000 For Signing Up!

If you are looking to get the absolute most out of your Nigerian sports betting experience, MyBookie is the way to go. MyBookie has been around for a good number of years and they are one of the best online offshore sportsbooks that you can use. With fair odds and a wide sports betting menu, you cannot go wrong by using this site. There are other online offshore sportsbooks we could recommend, but they would not allow you to use their bonuses.

Bonuses are extremely important to sports bettors. They allow you to fuel your bankroll for doing small things like signing up for your free account. Once you have signed up, you will receive a 100% matching bonus on the first deposit you make. That matching bonus is good for up to $1,000. That is an excellent way to fuel your new account and start your Nigerian sports betting adventure.

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Nigerian Sports Betting Market

Nigeria has the world’s seventh-highest population with over 200 million people, and is one of the countries with legal sports betting. It also has tens of millions of active bettors with interest in a wide variety of national and international sports. The country has recently experienced a huge expansion of internet availability, which is extremely important when online sports betting is the only state-sanctioned method. Nigeria has five cities with a population of at least 1 million: Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Benin City, and Port Harcourt. These are predictably the five largest markets for sports betting. The most popular sport to bet on in Nigeria is football—the Nigerian Professional Football League is rated as the best in Africa and the 24th best globally, ahead of even the Scottish Premier League. The Nigerian national team has made six of the last seven FIFA World Cups and advanced out of the Group Stage in three of those. If Nigeria qualifies for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, expect a huge increase in wagering action. 

Deposit Methods + Currencies Used In Nigeria

If you are wanting to bet on sports while you are in Nigeria, it is important for you to know what currencies are accepted. Online offshore sportsbooks have always been good in accepting most forms of currency, but they still need specific currencies from specific countries. Luckily, going to a sportsbook in Nigeria allows you to use some of the more common currencies in the world. You can use the US dollar, the Great Britain pound, or most importantly, Bitcoin. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the best way to deposit money into your sportsbook account. There are no fees and the money you deposit gets credited to your account faster than any other deposit method. If you are looking for other deposit methods that you can use in Nigeria and online offshore sportsbooks, check out our list down below of the sportsbook deposit methods.

Bitcoin/Cryptocurrencies Visa Card Visa Debit MasterCard
MasterCard Maestro Skrill Skrill 1-Tap Neteller
PaySafeCard EntroPay Astropay Bank Wire
Check

 

How Do I Withdraw My Winnings In Nigeria?

If you are wanting to bet on sports in Nigeria, of course, it is important to know what withdrawal methods you can use when you win your wager. Most of the time, there are fewer ways you can withdraw your money than depositing your money. But you can rest assured that the withdrawal methods that you can use are absolutely safe and secure. Online offshore sportsbooks thrive on reputation in Nigeria and they do not want to break that. Bitcoin will continue to be the best way to withdraw money from your account. The reason for that is simply due to the fact that there are no fees with using Bitcoin and it is extremely fast to get money in and out of your account. If you are wanting to check out the other withdrawal methods, feel free to check out our list down below.

Bitcoin/Cryptocurrencies Visa Card Visa Debit MasterCard
MasterCard Maestro Skrill Neteller EntroPay
Bank Wire Check    

 

Who Regulates Sports Betting In Nigeria?

Nigeria is in an interesting state where despite having retail sportsbooks operating within the country, sports betting is for the most part unregulated. The retail books do not answer to any entity and online sportsbooks are readily available. The government simply allows these books to operate unabated. This could change in the future, as the Lagos State Lottery Board regulates lottery, scratch-offs, and others in state gambling operations. If voted on; they could possibly add sports betting to that list. For now, sports betting in Nigeria is essentially unregulated, allowing everyone regardless of where they live in Nigeria to partake in legal sports betting. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission oversees gambling in general.

Where Nigerian Sports Betting Revenue Goes

In Nigeria, it’s very difficult to pin down exactly where tax money from sportsbooks go. What is known, however, is that land-based operators are taxed on their profits. The percentage of the tax is generally unknown though as many believe sportsbooks operators pay taxes that are comparable to what typical businesses in Nigeria pay. In the same regard, it is also unknown how much bettors are taxed on winnings as some believe it’s taxed in the same way as normal income. Other African nations, though, say that tax rates on winnings can be as much as 20%. Either way you spin it, the common narrative is that if the government finds a way to properly regulate sports betting with updated legislation, the market for betting in Nigeria could explode.

Sports Betting In Nigeria 2022 Outlook

A study showed that only 20% of sports bettors in Nigeria wagered using offshore sportsbooks, which is not enough for lawmakers in the country to open that kind of platform for the industry. It would likely cost more to get the operations up and running than they’d see in returns. However, as the pandemic continues and brick and mortar facilities are limited or closed, sports bettors in Nigeria may warm up to the idea of mobile sportsbooks.

Legal Sports Betting In Nigeria FAQs

Which Banking Methods Are Accepted At Nigerian Sportsbooks?

There are currently three government-licensed casinos in the country of Nigeria where you can bet on sports. It’s said that most Nigerians prefer the locally owned or government-run sportsbooks in the country. This is due to the preferred choice of Naira, the country’s currency, which can be used at all land-based sportsbooks. For those bettors in Nigeria who prefer legal online gambling, there are plenty of banking options for you to use, but many online gambling sites in Nigeria only use the American dollar for deposit and withdraw. Of them, the most popular would be Skrill, Neteller, EntroPay, and AstroPay.

What Does The Future Of Sports Betting Look Like In Nigeria?

The future of legal sports betting in Nigeria is on the rise. The sports industry in Nigeria runs rampant with soccer, basketball among others are booming in popularity. This popularity boom isn’t necessarily new, however, the online system that has made digital payment much less of an issue is spearheading the rise in betting dollars out of the country. Many residents prior to this were deterred by constant fraud sites or terribly slow internet speed and instead chose to stick to land-based casinos and sportsbooks. Since new methods of digital payments are making the banking process simple, more native Nigerians are taking up online sports gambling. And the numbers will only continue to rise.

How Old Do I Have To Be To Bet On Sports In Nigeria?

Those wanting to partake in legal sports betting in Nigeria have to be of a restricted age limit. In Nigeria, the legal sports betting age is 18. This rule applies for all of the legal and government-licensed casinos and land-based sportsbooks in the country. As for online sports betting, the majority of online sportsbooks in use in Nigeria require an age limit of 18 as well. 

Can I Use Promo Codes In Nigeria?

Yes, there are online offshore sportsbooks that allow you to use promo codes. MyBookie is the perfect online sportsbook for Nigerian sports bettors. The reason for that is not only is it legal to use it in the country, but promo codes are allowed and active as well. But some other sportsbooks do not allow you to use promo codes. BetOnline and SportsBetting are examples of sportsbooks where you cannot use a promo code in Nigeria. You are allowed to use both of these sites in Nigeria and we highly recommend them, just know that you cannot take advantage of promo codes while you are using them in Nigeria.