Sports Betting and its Legalities in Nigeria: Everything You Need to Know Before Placing a Wager

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Is Sports Betting Legal in Nigeria

Is Sports Betting Legal in Nigeria?

The ins and outs of the law when it comes to sports betting in Nigeria.

Gambling and sports betting are incredibly popular activities in Nigeria. A major factor in the growth of sports betting is the immense popularity of football in the country. Whether it’s sports betting on the Dolphins Football Club or enjoying your favorite casino games, gambling is an extremely popular pastime in Nigeria.

There are some pitfalls, rules, and regulations to be aware of, however, especially when it comes to gaming. It’s always best to educate yourself beforehand when it comes to placing bets either online or in person.


Gambling Laws in Nigeria

Like many other countries, the gambling laws of a nation can be diverse and confusing. This mainly stems from the growth of the internet and the difficulty in regulating such a massive platform globally. Nigerian gambling and gaming are broken up into several different categories that are deemed legal and illegal.

Typically, games that are highly dependent on luck and chance are considered illegal.

Illegal Games:

  • Roulette
  • Dice
  • Non-Skilled Card Games

Nigerian law states that games of chance are illegal, where only luck is a factor in the game. That being said, there are no provisions in the law preventing Nigerian nationals from playing these games online. The only real exception is that slot-based games are highly regulated by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission.


Legal Games

  • Land-Based Casinos
  • National Lottery
  • Sports Betting

These types of games are all considered legal under Nigerian law and have maintained their legal status most likely due to the fact that some amount of skill is involved in order to play.

The general rule is that all of the legal forms of gambling in Nigeria are readily available to 18-year-olds, and there are no explicit regulations against Nigerian citizens using offshore services to play online or abroad.


Currency and Nigerian Gaming

Many countries use currency as a form of control and regulation especially when it comes to gaming laws. Often, countries will outright ban online gaming or limit it to the country’s local currency for transactions. This is not the case in Nigeria.

There are no limits on Nigerian citizens making foreign transactions and gaming when it comes to gaming online. Local brick-and-mortar casinos, of course, will be using the local currency and have their own banking systems set up to exchange money. Meanwhile, Nigerians are free to place bets online with any currency they have without limitations.


Nigerian Lottery Commission

The governing body of the Nigerian gaming industry is the Nigerian Lottery Commission which was founded with the National Lottery Act of 2005. The document sets the regulations for the founding of the Lottery Commission as well as all of the legal forms of gambling within Nigeria.

There are also several forms of gambling explicitly outlawed in the Criminal Code Act of 1990, so there is no one definitive document that covers all of Nigeria’s gambling laws.


What Players Need to Know

Once you’ve understood the legalities of this pastime, the obvious next step is placing a good wager on your favorite game. However, before that, you need to know where to find the best Nigerian sportsbooks. Remember, you need to be judicious and selective when picking the right provider because not all operators are licensed and regulated, so erring on the side of caution is always advisable.

If you’re placing bets with reputable establishments or brick-and-mortar casinos in Nigeria, players should have no problems with local laws and regulations. Gaming online, however, is a different story. There are no laws explicitly forbidding online gambling, but that also means that there are no player protections in place from the Nigerian gaming commission or the government.


Tips for Finding Reputable Online Gaming in Nigeria

There are a few common rules when finding a reputable online gaming site, especially for Nigerian citizens. There’s nothing worse than losing money from a shady gambling site.


Proper Licensing

Always look at the credentials of the site before adding any money into your online wallets. All reputable gaming sites will have the backing of one or more gaming regulatory commissions. If they don’t proudly display their licensing and agreements, chances are, you’re wagering much more than you think when gambling on their site.


Reputable Software Providers

Another strong indication of a reputable online gaming site is the software used on the gaming platform. The software that powers online gaming sites is incredibly important when looking for your next online casino.

The software should be secure, offer easy payments and transfer of funds, and offer games that you actually enjoy. Look for some of the bigger names in the iGaming software industry like Microgaming or Evolution Gaming.

You can also check out some of the most prominent licensed gaming companies in Nigeria for reputable gaming services.

  • Africa Betting Company Nigeria Ltd
  • KC Gaming Ltd
  • AlphaGram West Africa Ltd
  • Sporty Internet Limited
  • Promoserve Inter Links Ltd


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