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Economic Impact of the Nigerian Gaming Industry

Friday, 17 December 2021

Nigeria is one of the most economically prosperous countries in the entire African continent. In fact, the economic stability of the entire continent is largely dependent on economic activity in Nigeria. Over the past few years, Nigeria has exhibited an impressive average annual growth rate of 7%. Of course, there are many variables that contribute to the economic stimulation in the region. But it should be worth noting that a whopping 60 million Nigerians are estimated to engage in sports betting and gambling on a regular basis. The gambling industry in Nigeria is so massive that many experts believe that it has the potential to become the continent’s largest online gambling country.

This becomes an even more impressive feat when you consider that the gambling laws in Nigeria aren’t as streamlined as in other parts of the world. A country like the United Kingdom will have relatively liberal gambling laws as operators are allowed to establish both land-based and online platforms within the country. On the other hand, in other nations like New Zealand, private entities aren’t allowed to establish their online gambling operations within the region. However, there is a workaround for these because locals are allowed to access offshore platforms that offer different features like online slots and live casino gaming. This is why many locals in New Zealand are still able to access their favorite casino games despite their government not allowing local operators within their jurisdiction.

In Nigeria, things get a little complicated. Many industry experts say that there isn’t much need for new legislation when it comes to gambling in Nigeria. This is mostly because the industry has still managed to thrive despite the ambiguity. But there is very little regulation when it comes to online gambling because there is no mention of it in any major legislation aside from a short provision in the National Lottery Act of 2005.

Over the years, the digital forms of gambling that encompass sports betting and casino gaming have only just recently experienced such a significant growth. Analysts mainly attribute the recent growth of the online gambling industry to the increasing availability of high-speed internet and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Aside from that, more and more Nigerians are becoming more adept at integrating technology into their daily lives. Nigeria also has a very prominent football culture. This has translated to the popularity of sports betting, which has turned it into one of the most lucrative industries in the country. It’s estimated that in 2018, Nigeria served as the second-largest online betting market in the continent with revenues of around $58 million every year. This places them second only to South Africa with a gambling industry that’s worth around $2 billion. It’s also worth noting that South Africa already has 54% internet penetration. As current trends dictate, Nigeria’s online gambling industry will only grow even further as the internet becomes more readily available in the region.

Recent reports have shown that the Nigerian population spends approximately $5.5 million on sports betting every single day with average wagers amounting to around $8. Many industry analysts predict that Nigeria’s gambling revenues should grow by as much as 16% until 2023. After that, annual growth may take place at even high percentages. A lot of the potential growth of the industry hinges on technological developments, especially with the rollout of high-speed internet infrastructure within the region. A lot of it may also have to do with any potential gambling legislation developments that can take place within the region.

More than just sheer revenues, the gaming industry in Nigeria has also been responsible for creating countless jobs for the Nigerian population. Even though there are only three land-based casinos in Nigeria, there is still so much potential for growth when it comes to creating jobs for Nigerians within the industry. Not many people think of gambling right away whenever they think of Nigeria. However, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to think that Nigeria could eventually serve as a secondary gambling haven in Africa, next to South Africa. With the Nigerian economy performing the way that it is, its population will get more spending power that will further enrich the recreational industry that gambling does fall under as well.

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via: Information Nigeria

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