Is Online Betting Legal in Nigeria?
Every state in Nigeria has multiple betting shops, so it’s clear that gambling is legal in the most populous country in West Africa. But what about online betting?
Your Legal Rights as a Player
In a nutshell, it’s totally legal to place bets online if you live in Nigeria. From a player’s perspective, there’s nothing to worry about in that respect. But it hasn’t always been so straightforward.
In 1990, the Criminal Code Act was introduced, stating that casino games, sports betting and lottery games were classed as games of skill and, therefore, legal to bet on. But there were lots of unregulated betting markets in Nigeria. Some years later, the Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) and National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) increased their power thanks to the Lagos State Lotteries Law (2004) and National Lottery Act (2005). The former law was notably revised in 2008.
LSLC vs NLRC
With these new laws, the LSLB and NLRC became responsible for helping to regulate gambling in Nigeria, including the distribution of gambling licences. But the two regulators rarely see eye to eye.
One of the more recent disputes between the two occurred after the LSLB announced it had blacklisted ten additional sites, including the Zoomlifestyle lottery operator – even though they had acquired licences.
Fortunately, this long-running feud shouldn’t affect you directly too much. The most important thing to remember is that it’s completely legal for you to place sports bets in Nigeria.
Mobile Betting Apps for Nigerian Bettors
Mobile sports betting has become increasingly popular around the world over the last few years, and this is especially true in Nigeria. In fact, 87% of players use their mobiles to access the internet and bet on their favourite sports. This makes complete sense – it’s fast and convenient.
But there’s a major difference when it comes to your experience of mobile betting on various sites. These days, most sports betting sites are optimised for Android and iOS devices. This means that the website can detect you’re using a mobile and will adjust the layout accordingly. The buttons get larger and the menu shifts around to make things easy for you. However, some older sports betting sites won’t do this.
The Advantages of Downloading Betting Apps
If you frequently use your mobile to place sports bets, your best option is to download a betting app. Nigerian betting sites that are serious about mobile gaming usually offer an app that you can download for free. Not only does this make it easier for you to log in in just a couple of taps, but it can also enhance your experience when placing bets.
For example, apps are usually highly optimised for in-play betting. So, if you bet on a football match and decide to cash out before the final whistle, it even easier to do so on an app. If you try to do this through a normal browser, you’ll probably spend more time clicking from one menu to another, because the experience isn’t mobile-only like the app is.
Payment Methods Available at Nigerian Betting Sites
The best betting companies in Nigeria make it easy for you to deposit and withdraw. You will find a wide range of payment methods to choose from in the cashier or banking section.
Here are some of the most popular payment methods available at betting sites in Nigeria:
Credit and Debit Cards
Traditional payment cards are still widely used across Nigeria in everyday life, and betting with a credit card is no different. You can easily make a deposit by entering a few simple details. After making your initial deposit, you can quickly fund your account again without having to enter all the information again.
E-payments have become increasingly popular over time in Nigeria, with a 2020 survey showing that cash and card payments now only account for 51% of financial transactions. With over 22 million activated cards, Interswitch is one of Africa’s leading digital payments services. If you want a reliable way to make fast deposits at betting sites in Nigeria, look no further than this Lagos-based company.
Used by over 60,000 companies around the globe, Paystack is a widely accepted online payment system which specifically caters to the gambling sector. This means transactions are fast, and Paystack even has its own verification APIs to speed up your first withdrawal and ensure you receive your winnings as quickly as possible.
Flutterwave makes it easy to send payments to anywhere in the world, and it has become a popular online payment gateway for Nigerians. Its award-winning technology is a favourite with many fans of online betting in Nigeria, as it allows you to complete payments in a few minutes by providing a few basic details.
Guaranty Trust Bank
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) is a mobile-centric payment option. Download an app for full access to GTBank and dial *737*0# to open an account. You can make payments in Nigerian naira or US dollars. The revamped GTBank mobile app has become a popular payment method amongst Nigerian sports bettors in recent years.
Another mobile-first e-payment system, OPay is perfect for those of you who want an easily accessible payment method for quick deposits and withdrawals. You can also use OPay to pay bills or transfer funds to friends and family members. It also has an offline banking option, which is useful if you don’t always have a stable internet connection.
The Most Popular Sports for Betting in Nigeria
Nigerians are passionate about sports, and that’s why there is such a strong demand for online sports betting in Nigeria. You probably don’t need us to tell you that football is the most popular sport for betting in the country, but it’s far from the only sport that Nigerians like to have a financial interest in while watching the action unfold.
Here are the most popular sports betting choices in Nigeria:
From Europe to Africa, football is a sport with a major following – and Nigeria is no exception. Indeed, Nigeria has produced many top players who have gone on to play in the world’s top leagues. From Jay-Jay Okocha lighting up the 1998 World Cup to Odion Ighalo scoring on his full debut for Manchester United, Nigeria and football are closely intertwined.
The best betting companies in Nigeria offer odds on the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), international matches involving the Super Eagles, and virtually every other football fixture.
Nigeria takes pride in its basketball teams, with its 16-team Nigerian Premier League (NPL) garnering plenty of fans. The influence of the NBA is clear in some of the teams’ names (think Gombe Bulls and Bauchi Nets), and sports betting enthusiasts can easily bet on either of these leagues at the leading betting companies in Nigeria.
Whether it’s straight up boxing or a variation of the sport, you can bet Nigerian betting sites have it covered. Nigeria has won six Olympic medals (three silver and three bronze) in boxing to date. Nigeria is also known for its own boxing-style spin off called ‘dambe’ in which competitors try to topple one another using a wrapped arm, known as a ‘spear’.
Whichever form of fighting you prefer, it’s clear that boxing and martial arts hold a place in the hearts of many Nigerians. New betting sites in Nigeria may occasionally include dambe, and nearly all will have markets for all of boxing’s biggest fights.
Nigeria has enjoyed plenty of success in athletics. Olusoji Fasuba is one of the most famous Nigerians in the sport, breaking the 100-metre world record in 2006, and plenty of female athletes have also made an impact in the athletics world.
The best betting sites in Nigeria allow you to bet on your favourite athletes in major competitions like the All-Nigeria Athletics Championships and Olympics.
Land-Based Gambling Options in Nigeria
As in many nations, betting sites can set up brick-and-mortar shops to allow gambling in Nigeria, and you will find these frequently in cities throughout the country. Many betting shops, bingo halls and other gaming venues are available in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city.
You’ll find multiple casinos in Nigeria, with three full-scale casinos currently in operation. The Federal Palace Hotel and Casino is the premier destination hotel in the country, and one of the most popular and luxurious international hotels in all of Africa. The gaming floor features everything you’d expect from a major resort: slot machines, table games, poker, and amenities like bars and restaurants.
You can also gamble at the Le Meridien Eko Hotel & Casino and the Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
If you want to find the best sports betting sites in Nigeria, choose one of the sites recommended by our experts. Each of these sites offers generous bonuses, competitive odds, and a wide variety of payment methods to ensure you have the best experience possible.
Football is one of the most popular sports in Nigeria, so it’s easy to find football betting sites that cover the Nigerian Professional Football League, international matches involving the Super Eagles, and every other fixture. Check out our guide to find a football betting site that ticks all your boxes.
Most online betting sites accept euros, US dollars and other major currencies, but there are a few sites that accept the Nigerian naira (NGN).
Yes, you can take advantage of deposit bonuses, free bets, and more by joining one of the best sports betting sites in Nigeria. These sites also reward your loyalty with ongoing promotions long after your first deposit.