Sports betting has been around in other countries legally for far longer than the United States of America that only legalized the activity in 2018. Other countries such as Nigeria, made the move towards legalization a lot earlier, around 1990. Because the activity has been around for so long, sports betting is far more integrated with sports culture in the country than what we see today in the US, although the trend is clear for where we are heading. In Nigeria for example, a far greater percentage of the population gambles on sports, about 52% compared to just 26% (and this is after significant growth from a previous 20%).
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Betting sites in Nigeria
Nigeria’s sports betting market options are diverse, after research we found that there are around 37 betting sites in Nigeria that can be used to wager in the country. This is because of the time the market has had to develop and the size of the industry in the country. You can find new bookies as well as established ones that have already built up a significant following. One of the biggest inhibitors to growth in the Nigerian market has been the accessibility to internet, but as internet usage has penetrated more of the population, the prevalence of online gambling has surged.
Sports in Nigeria
Unlike the United States where the most popular sport to bet on is the NFL, the Nigerian market resembles most of the global markets where football (soccer) is the largest consumed sport. In many of these countries fans not only engage with their local football leagues but watch international leagues closely as well. Some of the most prominent football leagues in Nigeria are : the NPL (Nigerian Premier League), the EPL (English Premier League), La Liga (Spain), and the Bundesliga (Germany). Football (soccer) being such a widely consumed sport contributes to the availability of the markets available to bet on. There are of course other sports that are also popular in the country such as : horse racing, tennis, basketball, cricket, and more.
Regulation of Sports Betting in Nigeria
Nigeria as we mentioned above officially legalized sports betting in 1990 and is now regulated by the the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) which oversees online sportsbooks as well as traditional brick-and-mortar houses. The government has also implemented measures to ensure fair play, protect consumers, and curb any potential negative impacts associated with excessive gambling. Licensing requirements and responsible gambling initiatives reflect a concerted effort to balance the growth of the industry with the need for regulatory oversight. Other legal gambling activities include : lottery and casino betting.
Sports Betting Culture in Nigeria
In Nigeria gambling companies have managed to avoid the “immoral” stamp that darkens their image in other countries. Much of the sports betting culture in Nigeria comes from an avid sports culture itself. Sports has long been an escape for populations and a form of entertainment for many. In Nigeria this is the case as well, where it is estimated that 100 million Nigerians watch football, keep in mind as well that this is just one sport out of the many enjoyed in the country that has currently a population of over 210 million. The industry is set to keep rising and the current fever in the country with sports betting will only get greater. There are lessons to be learned by studying this market, especially here in the US.