The rise and rise of sports betting in Nigeria: the seen future

By Onyemachukwu Precious Nkechi

Sports Betting are now Siamese twins for many Nigerians. Sports betting are referred to as any activity of predicting sporting result and placing a wager on its outcome, with the hope of winning a prize. Sports betting can be traced back to the pastimes of the Greeks. It is the oldest known form of gambling on the planet.

Sports betting in Nigeria have become legal in the thirty- six states and Abuja. As a nation, Nigeria is betting up to five billion naira per day, according to Ademola Adebaji, the head of one of the largest football betting services provider operating in Nigeria. The growth of sports betting in Nigeria is at an increasing rate of 2.5 % every year. The companies operating the business of sport betting in Nigeria are expected to obtain a sport lottery permit from the regulatory body in Nigeria known as the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). The operators are expected to confine their business to the boundaries of sporting activities.

Nowadays, students, young and upwardly mobile men and women dominate the customers of sports betting shops in Nigeria. Some of the most popular betting companies in Nigeria include Nairabet ( the first online sport betting website in Nigeria), Surebet 247, Bet365naija, Bet9ja, 1960 bet, 360 bets, 9ja Predict, and Winners Golden Bet.

These companies offer sports betting, virtual dog racing, virtual football league and virtual horse racing. The sports they have available to bet on include football, Aussie rules, darts, baseball, basketball, Beach volleyball, bowl, boxing, cricket, cycling, ice hockey, tennis, handball, volleyball.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), quoted by http://www.narialand.com, said that” 60 millions Nigeria between the ages of 18 and 40 years of age place bet of more than on one billion naria daily on sports betting”. The report also revealed that ” a betting company can generated up to twenty million naria and use between five million naira and seven million naira to meet winner obligations in terms of payment “.

There are three types of sports betting and they include  betting shops, online betting sites and offshore or international betting sites. Many Nigerians finds it easy to place a bet because of the invention of Smartphone and internet. Instead of trekking to a distance, they can do it at their own convenience because of the presence of online betting sites and the bets are reduced to as low as fifty naria to place a bet thereby increasing their customers.

Speaking on the growth of sport betting in Nigeria, some betting agents spoke anonymously and revealed to Bloomgist on why the business of sports betting will stay for a long time in Nigeria without losing interest.

“I have been in the business for more than five years now and I can say that the business is profitable. As long that there is sports, there is a match to bet and it is a game of chance. I place a bet for fun and have won money in return and I can tell you that sports betting is growing as fast as ever and also sport betting provide employment opportunities as every year they bring in new features and benefits”, while the second agent operating in that area, said that “I have been in this business for 3 years and I can say that it is very profitable as I have many customers in a day. Sport betting has helped with my finances as I sometimes win money when I place a bet. Sports betting will continue to growing unless they stop football”.

Sports betting are growing at an alarming rate; the amount used to bet is now easily affordable for school children as you place a bet of fifty naira and could win ten thousand.  Also the money attached to winning as some people believe that they can hit it big and win a million, so they continue to play even if luck doesn’t favour them with the hope that one day will be for them. And others who won money will like to play again to win more money. Sports, Sports betting and good rewards works hand to hand.

The future of sports betting in Nigeria is standing strong as there are laws that strongly support it. As long as more people divert into sport of various kinds, there will be a bet to place. Sports betting will no longer be a thing of the past, it will grow faster than we can ever imagine and more people of this country will become a customer to those betting companies. Sport betting in the future will be a game of addiction. Modern sports betting will become very popular.

It is going to be worse than drugs or crime as more people can bet out their entire savings or life to play. Companies that offer sports betting will grow faster than our industries and they will be making more money. There will be employment opportunities for those youth who wants to work as an agent of any sports betting companies. Other online betting sites will be created because the offline sites are not enough to satisfy customers demand.  Sports betting in the future will be made very easy because you can be able to bet at the time convenient for you.

In conclusion, sport betting is now the highest form of gambling as it is played by both the rich and the poor. Sports betting centers have now become the home of some people, they will be there analyzing what match to bet on, whom to support, what will be the outcome and the rewards for my wins. If sport betting has no control, it will drastically reduce the developing minds of our youths thereby reducing economic development. Sport betting is at the top list of the greatest enemy that Nigeria needs to face and defeat.

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