How to promote online betting and gambling in Nigeria?

Publication date: 20 May 2024

Gambling in Nigeria is one of the most promising gambling markets not only in Africa, but in the whole world. It seems that everything is here to effectively deliver traffic to casinos and betting shops!  In a new review on 3S.INFO, we’ll break down how to promote online betting and gambling in Nigeria. 

How online betting and gambling is regulated in Nigeria

Gambling in Nigeria is regulated by the National Lottery Act of 2005.

What kind of gambling is allowed in Nigeria? 

Nigeria how to promote online betting gambling 3SNET games en

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is the regulatory body responsible for controlling and issuing licenses at the national level.

Gambling and betting are also regulated at the state and local government level. In Lagos, for example, this is done by the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA).

However, all operators in Nigeria are currently required to obtain an NLRC license before obtaining a license at the state level. All online companies that have obtained an NLRC license are free to operate without a state license. Therefore, a state license is sufficient for online betting and gambling in Nigeria. There is no need to obtain licenses from every state. 

There are several types of state licenses available in Nigeria: 

  • Sports Betting Permit; 
  • Casino Gaming Permits (CGPs).

All licenses are issued for a period of 5 years. The non-refundable application and processing fee is 2 million naira (approximately $1400). Upon successful completion of all documentation, an additional 100 million naira (just over $68,000) must be paid. At the same time, the minimum authorized capital of the applicant company must be 30 million naira.

The requirements for obtaining a gambling and betting license in Nigeria are very detailed and all documents must be submitted at once:

  • All trademark details: certificate of registration with the Ministry of Trade and Investment, company name, logo and colour scheme;
  • Registration of a .ng or (acceptable only for casinos) .com domain name is required to obtain a Nigerian gaming license;
  • Obtaining a gaming license requires proof of interaction with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC);
  • Details of directors and all staff (!!!!) including company secretary, compliance officer, accountant, IT manager, operations manager and account manager;
  • Details of planned gaming activities, distribution channels (website, SMS, mobile app or other channels), marketing and expansion strategy; industry analysis and competitive advantages of the proposed scheme;
  • Funding sources and plans, 5-year financial forecast;
  • Payment solution provider details with integration plan;
  • Full details of technical service providers (web developer, hosting provider, database/backup service provider, software, security system).

Upon commencement of operations, licensed gambling and betting companies in Nigeria are required to pay 3% of their monthly turnover to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (1%) and the National Lottery Trust Fund (2%).

A list of legal bookmakers and casinos licensed in Nigeria can be found at Nigerian National Game Operator.

  • As of May 2024, there are over 60 offices in the list of legal bookmakers. Nigerian gambling license has well-known brands BetWay, 1Xbet, Betwinner, Melbet, 22bet, Parimatch, Paripesa, Betano. 
  • Casino games are offered by 7 operators, including 1XBET Casino.

The penalties for organizing illegal gambling are contained in Chapter 22 of the Nigerian Penal Code. Organizing illegal gambling can be punished with a fine of 1 thousand naira and/or imprisonment for 2 years. 

There is also a penalty for those caught gambling illegally – a fine of 10 naira for the first offense and for each subsequent offense, a fine of 40 naira and/or 3 months imprisonment.

How can betting and gambling be promoted in African countries?

How are gambling and betting sites blocked in Nigeria?

The main problem with the gambling market in Nigeria is weak and contradictory regulation. The current system of both federal and state regulation creates tension between market participants.

As a result, there is no single body responsible and interested in blocking online casino and bookmaker sites without a Nigerian gaming license. 

In February 2024, the NLRC regulator acknowledged that it needed government support to develop further market safeguards and standards in relation to the inspection of betting shops, the application of penalties and the introduction of online controls.

It can therefore be concluded that as of 2024, gambling website blocking in Nigeria will be either minimal (no information is provided) or non-existent.

How much money is made from gambling in Nigeria?

According to H2 Gambling Capital’s Spring 2024 forecast, gross gambling revenue in Nigeria will be $717.2 million / €675.1 million by 2025. 

As of February 2024, data from the National Lottery Trust revealed that more than 65 million Nigerians are active bettors, spending an average of $15 per day. According to the report, Nigerians spend about $975 million a day on online sports betting, which amounts to about $356 billion a year.

What is the proper way to advertise betting and gambling in Nigeria?

The National Lottery Regulation states that all licensees must independently develop a code of advertising practice that restricts the participation of children, adolescents and vulnerable groups in gambling. Operators must comply with the NLRC’s requirements regarding the content, location and targeting of their advertising. 

A bill setting standards for gambling advertising is currently before the NLRC. Consequently, Nigeria has no specific gambling advertising regulations.

How to attract residents to casino and bookmaker websites in Nigeria? 

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located in West Africa. 

With a population of over 229 million by 2024, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. According to The Economist, the population will grow to 400 million by 2050, making it the third most populous country in the world.

You can place bets and participate in legal gambling from the age of 18. In addition, Nigeria’s population is now very young: according to the World Factbook, about 41% of Nigerian residents are 14 years old or younger, while the median age is only 19 years old. 

Major cities in Nigeria: Lagos (13 million inhabitants), Kano ( 3.8 million inhabitants), Ibadan ( 2.5 million inhabitants), Benin City ( 2.4 million inhabitants), Abuja (1.6 million inhabitants) is the capital. 

The official language is English. It is taught in schools, so it is spoken by the majority of Nigerians. In total, there are more than 500 living languages in the country, but they are spoken by small groups of the population.

The official currency is the Nigerian Naira. 

The religious composition of the country is very diverse: 53.6% of the population is Muslim (mainly in the north, west and southwest of the country); 12 states of Nigeria (Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe, Kaduna, Niger, Gombe) have Sharia law. Another 45.9% of the population are Christians (in the south and east of the country). Various local religions are prevalent among the approximately 13 million people (central and southern regions). 

According to the Nigeria Living Standards Survey (NLSS (2018-19 National Bureau of Statistics and World Bank survey)), more than half of Nigerians live below the poverty line, spending on average no more than $30 per month on living expenses. World Bank data for 2022 shows that the poorest states in Nigeria are Sokoto, Bayelsa, Gombe, Jigawa and Plateau.  

According to EveryMatrix platform data published in May 2024, internet penetration in Nigeria is 42% (with an average of 89% in Europe and 68% in Latin America).

According to Statista, the number of mobile internet users in Nigeria will increase by 20% in 2024 compared to 2023.

About 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 bet on sports, according to February 2024 data from the News Agency of Nigeria.

Which casino games will be the choice of residents? 

In April 2024, EveryMatrix, a provider of gambling software and other services, published a report analyzing the Nigerian gaming market (“Top 20 Slots in Nigeria” and “Top 10 Content Providers in Nigeria”).

According to their data, Nigerian players prefer classic themes such as animals and fruits, but “Asian themes” are also popular.

Nigeria how to promote online betting gambling 3SNET top slots en

Which sports are popular in Nigeria?

  • The most popular sport in Nigeria is football. Nigerian teams such as Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Plateau United and Akwa United have qualified for and won many tournaments and championships. And Nwankwo Kanu, John Mikel Obi, Finidi George are the most decorated footballers in the history of their country. The national football team that the whole country cheers for are the Super Eagles.
  • Athletics is popular throughout the country. Nigerian athletes have won 27 medals at the Olympic Games. The most famous Nigerian athletes are Francis Obikwelu, Innocent Egbunike, Enefiok Udo-Obong, Charity Opara, Sunday Bada. 
  •  At the end of 2023, the Nigerian basketball team was ranked among the top 20 teams in the FIBA world rankings. Nigerian basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon, nicknamed “the Dream”, is one of the greatest international NBA players of all time. 
  • About 300 Nigerian boxers are currently active and compete in various competitions, including Dick Tiger, Davidson Andeh, Hogan Bassey and Bash Ali.
  • Nigeria is a regular and successful participant in the Olympic Games and African Games. Every year (June) the country hosts an international event, Olympic Day. In 2024, an extensive program of events is planned for June 29 in all the states.  

Nigeria’s traditional sports are an integral part of local life. A special federation was set up in 1993 to develop, preserve and promote these games. Competitions of various levels are held from time to time: the National Sports Festival, the Open Championship in Traditional Sports.

  • Dambe, a martial art, is first on the list of the most popular sports in Nigeria. At the same time, “African boxing” is rapidly gaining popularity around the world: according to several sports websites, in 2019, videos about dambe gathered more than 24 million viewers. Only 40% of Dambe’s viewers are Nigerians, while 60% come from the United States, Indonesia and the Philippines. 
  • Kokawa is another form of Nigerian martial arts. International competitions are held during the African Games and the Francophone Championship.
  • Ayo is a turn-based, two-player strategy board game. It has been described as “the African game that aspires to be recognized by the Olympic Games”. Ayo competitions are held annually in Lagos.
  • Other sports popular in Nigeria include abula (a game similar to volleyball in which players kick the ball with a wooden stick), aarin (African billiards). 
  • Langa is a team sport (a mixture of volleyball, gymnastics and catch-up) that is most popular among residents of northern Nigeria. During a game, players can only move by hopping on one leg.

What payment means are available in Nigeria?

To successfully promote a bookmaker or casino in Nigeria, sites need to be connected to local (African) payment services: Flutterwave, Paystack, Verve, Paga, Quickteller, Chipper Cash, OPay.

You can also deposit and withdraw money from Nigerian gambling sites in several ways: 

  • Visa and Mastercard cards;
  • Webmoney, Neteller, Skrill e-wallets.
  • Mobile operators in Nigeria: MTN Momo, Globacom and Airtel.

Cryptocurrency is not banned in Nigeria, but commercial banks have been advised to “refrain” from such transactions. Meanwhile, Nigerians are among the most active users of crypto in the world, with about a third of the country’s population using it.  According to P2P exchange Paxful for 2023, the volume of bitcoin trading on this platform alone amounted to $800 million.

How to Make Creatives for Nigeria: Cultural Peculiarities

  • Given the poor quality of the internet, creatives for Nigeria need to be optimized for limited speeds. You can reduce the amount of animation or remove sound so that the audience can view engaging content without lag. 
  • Nigeria’s major cities (Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt) are known for their vibrant nightlife. Illustrations of clubs and bars, land-based casinos can be used to give players an image of success, prosperity and financial well-being.  
  • Bright, eye-catching creative can be generated using the experience of Nollywood / Cannywood (Nigeria is the second largest film industry in the world). Use images of actors or footage from popular movies! Some of the richest and most popular actors are Jim Iyke, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Desmond Elliot. Recent Nigerian movies with good ratings are Gangs of Lagos, King of Boys, 93 Days, Half of a Yellow Sun. In May 2024, the HollyWoodWeek festival was held in Paris, where the latest Nigerian film masterpieces All the colors of the world, Atico, Blood Vessel, Sista were presented.  3S.INFO has a selection of casino movies and TV series from the last 20 years.
  • Masquerade is another very effective image that can be used in creative and attract players from Nigeria to an online casino or BC site. A music and dance procession in masks and costumes accompanies almost all important events in the life of Nigerians.  
  • Note the Nigerian ideal of female beauty!  In many areas, the tradition of “fattening brides” persists because only a full-figured, well-shaped girl can marry successfully. Sagaci research has shown that a Kim Kardashian type figure is the standard of beauty for locals. Light skin is also more attractive and is associated with privilege and wealth. 
  • Traditionally, people are in a good mood and more likely to gamble during holidays. On the other hand, during religious holidays, the focus on casinos and bookmakers may be reduced. Official holidays in Nigeria are New Year’s Day (January 1 is an official holiday), Labor Day (May 1), Democracy Day (June 12), Independence Day (October 1 is an official holiday). Religious Holidays: Christian holidays – Good Friday, Easter; Islamic holidays – Eid al-Fitr (the end of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is an official day off), Eid-al-Maulud (birth of the Prophet Muhammad). The dates of religious holidays are set annually. 
  • Besides the official English, Nigerians use a mixture of Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo (pidgin) languages – “Naijem”. Here are some words in Nigerian Naija that may help you: jin-jin – “party”, proper-proper – “very good”, fun won ton – “to dress very well” (data from the article by Olga Kornienko, candidate of philological sciences, associate professor at Moscow State University).

What sources of traffic are popular in Nigeria?

According to StatCounter data for last year (from March 2023 to March 2024), the most popular in Nigeria are  

  • Social networks Facebook* – 57.24%, Twitter – 14.06%, Instagram* – 13.55%, Pinterest – 8.6%, YouTube – 4.73%.  
  • Search engines: Google (98.98%), Bing (0.5%) and Yahoo (0.03%).  

Most popular browsers: Chrome – 57.65%, Opera – 32.87%, Safari – 5.88%, Firefox – 1.11%, Samsung Internet – 0.77%.

Proliferation of mobile devices: Tecno (26.17%), Infinix (21.75%), Samsung (11.18%), Apple (8.41%), Itel (6.35%). Accordingly, the popularity of operating systems was also distributed as follows: Android (76.62%) and iOS (7.44%).

*Facebook and Instagram are considered extremist in Russia and are blocked by court order.  

Nigeria is one of the most promising countries in Africa for the promotion of online gambling and betting. Very loyal regulation allows the market to develop actively: global brands can freely offer their casino and sports betting services. The country has a huge young population that is actively gambling! It’s time to connect and drive traffic! The 3SNET network has prepared the top betting and gambling offers where quality traffic from Nigeria is expected.

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