Impact of Online Gambling on the Nigerian Economy


When most people think of online gambling activities, Nigeria is not one of the first countries that come to their minds.

However, when compared to other African countries, it has one of the most developed land-based and online gambling industries.

In Nigeria, different types of gambling have existed for quite some time. However, in the past, gambling was widely discouraged by the legislators and the church.

The rise of online gambling opportunities in the country was boosted by the lack of stricter laws and regulations. When it comes to the history of gambling in the country, it has been practiced for many years just like in other parts of the globe.

According to most experts, the Yoruba tribe that inhabits western parts of the country had practiced certain types of gambling for many years.

Football pools were first introduced after the British army colonized the country. Football pools marked the beginning of completely new gambling forms into the local population. When it comes to online sports betting, these were introduced to Nigerian bettors in 2009 after NairaBet by Oloye Akin Alabi was launched.

What About Online Gambling?

Different online gambling forms in the country are regulated and overseen by the Nigerian Lottery Commission. Before a company can start operating in the country, it must obtain a valid remote gambling license from the main regulatory body.

All iGaming venues that operate legally in the country must comply with all regulations defined in the National Lottery Act including the best online gambling sites in Nigeria you can see at

Essentially, residents of Nigeria can join quite a few foreign sites which are regulated by local governmental bodies. The procedure for obtaining a remote gambling license from the gambling regulatory body is explained below.

1. Companies interested in operating online betting sites app must submit their application forms to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission.

2. An application letter also must be sent detailing the applicant’s intention.

3. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission collects from every applicant N2,000,000 as non-refundable processing and application fee.

4. In addition, all new applicants must provide incorporation documents within their application forms.

5. Incorporation documents that the regulatory agency requires every applicant to provide include the info of their share capital that must be over N30,000,000, proof of filling yearly returns, and proof of domain name.

6. Every applicant also must provide its administrative office address, as well as evidence of being registered with the Ministry of Trade and Investment.

7. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission also obtain financial and operational information from every applicant, including their distribution, marketing, and operating strategies, planned terms and conditions, funding sources, and bank statements no older than two years.

The Impact Online Gambling Has on the Country’s Economy

Back in 2019, the country’s GDP was valued at over US$410 billion as detailed in this Statista report. With both private and numerous state-owned companies and businesses, Nigeria is home to the largest economy in Africa.
Also estimated in 2019, the country’s GDP per capita was valued at around US$2,400. The most developed industries in Nigeria are banking, construction, consumer goods, healthcare, gas and oil, agricultural, and entertainment industries.

Speaking of entertainment industries, Nigerians are the biggest fans of sports betting and online sportsbooks have a great impact on the country’s economy. Over the last couple of years, the Nigerian economy has grown massively thanks to more and more Nigerians engaging in online gambling activities.

In fact, it is estimated that over sixty million young adults residing in Nigeria engage in sports betting on a regular basis. With this being said, there is no wonder why most experts believe Nigeria can easily become the continent’s most developed, most lucrative sports betting and gambling market.

How Online Gambling Positively Impacts the Nigerian Economy?

As mentioned in the previous section, both legal and illegal forms of gambling are very popular among Nigerians. While different laws and regulations are in place, the country has no specific laws and regulations for its iGaming industry.

Following the decision to start licensing foreign companies and businesses in the state of Lagos, the country’s whole iGaming industry shifted one hundred and eighty degrees. Today, Nigerians have great gambling opportunities at many licensed gambling venues.

Before the Lagos gambling regulatory body started issuing remote gaming licenses to foreign companies, Nigerians engaged in different gambling forms at online platforms without any issues. For many years, the local land-based gambling and sports betting markets led the way due to the lack of online iGaming sites and platforms.

However, thanks to widespread Internet adoption and access, highly increased digitalization, and the greater availability of portable devices at very affordable prices, the Nigerian iGaming scene has managed to boost the country’s economy in the last several years.

All of this comes as a part of a major economic growth and rejuvenation that the country has been experiencing.

Economists and experts invested in exploring all the amazing benefits of regulated iGaming markets suggest that revenues collected by online gambling operators in Nigeria will have even a greater positive impact on the local economy.

With more iGaming sites and platforms starting to operate in the country, new working opportunities will be presented. At the same time, new sites emerging on the scene will also boost the country’s education and public health systems due to the current tax regime.
According to the latest projections, gross gambling revenues in the country are expected to increase by over 16% by the end of 2023.

Increasing tax revenues coupled with new working opportunities suggest that the gambling industry is deemed to leave even a bigger economic and social impact on the country’s economy in the years to come.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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