Online Gambling To Grow In Nigeria

Published October 24, 2016 by Arthur M

Online Gambling To Grow In Nigeria

Nigeria has hosted the first African iGaming conference, and is being seen as a leader in the legalisation and regulation of the online gambling market across the continent.

Nigeria is now the largest African economy and with a population of around 184 million, there's a huge opportunity for online gambling companies to expand there. Africa's first iGaming summit was recently held in Lagos and highlighted the fact that the market in Nigeria is becoming more mature and could be leading the way for other nations across the continent to follow.

History Of Online Gambling In Nigeria

Until 2004, there was a blanket ban on gambling across the country, but that year saw the launch of the first officially sanctioned online lottery and the opening of three casinos in the biggest city, Lagos, and the capital city of Abuja.

By 2013 the first online casino was opened, initially only featuring Roulette games, but since then the market has rapidly expanded, and now, despite local laws still officially restricting Nigerian citizens to approved sites, they can access a wide range of international sports and casino operators.

Across Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, it's been estimated that the online gambling market could be worth $37 billion as soon as 2018, and the local government has come to realise that the potential tax revenues from such a huge business make proper regulation and control of it well worth implementing.

New Measures To Legalise Online Gambling

As outlined at the World Regulatory Briefing Africa (WrB) summit in April, the Nigerian authorities believe that strong regulation of the market will attract more players to online gambling sites, while also helping to reduce the risks of corruption or criminal behaviour. The chief executive of the Lagos State Lottery Board outlined how they have made great strides introducing a robust licensing system, while the head of FIFA's Early Warning System discussed how the authorities and operators can work together for the benefit of all concerned.

Could Others Follow In Nigeria's Footsteps?

iGaming operators and regulators from across the continent and beyond were in attendance, and it looks likely that the direction Nigeria takes will be influential on other countries in the future. They will be watching with interest to see how the market opens up, how local populations take to online gambling and of course, how much revenue can be raised from the business.

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