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Online Gambling in Nigeria
The Nigerian gambling market grows as authorities move towards licensing online casinos.
Nigeria is the largest African country in terms of both economy and population and one of the fastest-growing ones on the continent. As the nation develops, the interest for online gambling grows at a steady pace, making it essential for authorities to create the proper legal framework.
Until recently, the gambling environment wasn’t thoroughly regulated and many players chose to pursue their hobby in illegal gambling houses. They range from underground Nigerian casinos to slot machines parlors, posing a serious risk for both local players and tourists. The government of Nigeria is trying to legalize both the land-based and online gaming environment, while putting an end to unlawful gambling.
Since 1990, the authorities have clearly defined what constitutes illegal gambling and both the players and the operators are susceptible to significant fines. Racing totes and betting businesses were allowed and recently, slot machines, table games and video poker were added on the list. The emphasis was on regulating land-based casinos, as online gambling represents just a tiny fraction of the gaming industry.
Nowadays, when Nigerian players are more inclined to shift from land-based venues to their online counterparts, licensing Internet Nigerian casinos is a top priority for the government. If done right, this will result in a flux of international online operators and a significant increase in tax revenue.
Nigerian online casinos have been offering lottery games to local players since 2014 when the authorities began regulating the industry. The games are still immensely popular nationwide, with new games such as Quick Lotto and daily Quick 5 lotto draws being added with great success. As Internet access improved, players from Nigeria got aware of new forms of gambling, offered by online casinos.
While the licensing of land-based casinos continues, the government is also expected to ramp up its efforts to support Nigerian online casinos. Lotteries will continue to draw large crowds, but the future belongs to Internet operators capable of offering a comprehensive selection of mobile friendly games.