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How safe is it to gamble online in Nigeria?

Published on July 8, 2019, 3:27 pm

by Jeff Grant Twitter account Jeff Grant LinkedIn account

Nigeria’s Strict Gambling Environment and Regulating Laws

Currently, there are no government acts or legislation that sanctions or regulates this practice in the country. Therefore, players or local gambling companies operating without a license may be prosecuted by the state if found to be participating in the activity, since it’s not permissible.

Nevertheless, offshore online gambling isn’t restricted and Nigerians are free to use international betting sites, which have their IP addresses in other jurisdictions. Even so, compared to other African countries such as South Africa, virtual gambling isn’t so popular in Nigeria and in fact players are far in-between.

To attract more Nigerian players, some online offshore casinos process payments in the country’s local NGN currency, plus offer safe & secure banking options that are Nigerian oriented. These factors have made a couple of virtual offshore gambling sites in the country quite popular. Nigerians rely on affordable portals like to compare casino reviews and get list of legit sites. Additionally, their 24/7 availability, convenience and diversity of games available makes it possible for Nigerian players to gamble just as if they were in a real physical casino.

Legal prohibitions of virtual betting in the country

According to the Criminal Code Act of 1990, and chapter 22 in particular, there are certain legal and illegal types of wagering that citizens need to know about to avoid getting into trouble with the law.

Some of the permitted forms of betting include lotteries, horse racing wagers, pools and a few chosen casino games such as roulette, blackjack and slots.

On the other hand, illegal games consist of all card games which don’t require any special skills to play, including various other games that rely mostly on chance and are quite unpopular among fans.

Presently, there are no laws in Nigeria that favor online casinos and anyone caught operating a virtual wagering site within the country may face prosecution. Nevertheless, there’s very little the state can do to control those who want to stake at offshore casinos.

Online sports wagering

Many Nigerians are big fans of football and this has led to an emergence of sports betting firms online, whereby players stake their money against two competing soccer teams, and stand a chance of winning much more cash if their winning predictions come true.

The country’s first local online sports betting firm was Nairabet, which currently has more than 100,000 fans signed to it. This site provides sports and live-betting opportunities to players, including a few other casino games that are approved in the country. Nairabet is fully registered & certified to carry out sports gambling activities by Lagos State Lotteries Board, plus players are allowed to withdraw/deposit funds across the country via their website or company outlets spread across Lagos.

Nairabet headquarters in Lagos and Lekki (Nigeria)
Nairabet headquarters in Lagos and Lekki (Nigeria)

Apart from Nairabet, another popular sports betting website found in Lagos is Winners Bet. It’s a virtual sportsbook that allows players to wager on various soccer matches, both locally and globally, including other sports such as baseball, basketball and tennis just to mention a few. Similarly, Merrybet also operates as an online bookmaker providing gamblers with a wide array of sports to wager from including; darts, football, tennis and rugby.

Generally, as opposed to Casino games, online gambling for sports is quite common in Nigeria and the government in fact allows and regulates it. Citizens can place sports wagers using the registered betting companies, laying stakes at any time or place using their PCs or smartphones, since some of these companies also have mobile-based sportsbooks services.

Mobile-phone gambling

Nowadays, most foreign online casinos & sports betting companies have smartphone friendly websites that allow you to access their content through portable devices, all you need is a fast and secure web connection. Most of the online casinos available are HTML5 based, meaning you can play them from whichever location around the country provided you have sufficient internet supply.

HTML5 mobile casino games

Portable gambling devices such as tablets provide you maximum convenience, privacy and flexibility which PCs don’t have, plus you can play your favorite online games from whichever operating system your device has be it Apple, Windows, Android or iOS.

To conclude, Nigeria has strict online gambling laws that restrict local companies and players from engaging in the activity, but offshore virtual casinos are allowed to operate and Nigerians can use them to access their favorite games such as roulette or slots. Online sports betting is also allowed in the country, plus there are various local companies that provide sportsbooks stakes.


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