Nigeria, the biggest and most populous country in Africa is also known for its vast natural resources. With one of the highest productions of oil, diamonds, and gold in the world, Nigeria is a thriving nation that is also home to the largest city in Africa – Lagos – that serves as its economic capital at the same time.
With an emerging middle class and proper administration, Nigeria also thrives from a sporting perspective. Football is the most popular sport played in the country and the Nigerian football team was really close to qualifying for the knock-out stage of the World Cup in Russia, in a group with Croatia (runner up), Argentina and Iceland. More recently, they took the 3rd spot in the African Cup of Nations, a trophy that they conquered in 2013. Also, names like John Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses will certainly ring a bell to football enthusiasts and betting Naija enthusiasts.
It goes without saying that Naija betting sites are witnessing a lot of activity from Nigerian punters. The country is an awesome emerging market and most big bookmakers focus their attention towards this territory. With permissive legislation for foreign betting sites, Nigerian punters are free to choose from a huge list of online bookies in Nigeria. We’re here to bring to your attention some of the best websites for betting Nigeria has to offer.
Gambling laws have been passed and updated over the past 40 years in Nigeria. The first such legislation was the Casino Taxation Act, in 1965, which marked the start of a very lucrative period for gambling in the country. Of course, it was too early to talk about Nigerian betting sites, however, this is the cornerstone that made everything possible. Despite a very promising start, things were not always straightforward for the Nigerian betting industry. Actually, before we can even talk about a massive industry, things took a turn for the worse in 1977 when the Gaming Machines Act declared gambling as illegal. To make things even worse for Nigerian betting companies, the updated version of the Criminal Code Act deemed all non-skilled gambling as illegal.
Luckily, with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999, betting in the country started a massive comeback. First, the Lagos State Lotteries Board was established in 2005 and that was the first step towards creating a regulatory framework for Nigerian betting sites. Then, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission was established in 2007 as the organization that has the role to oversee gambling activities in the country. Both regulatory authorities can issue licenses to local and international betting sites. Big international bookies such as Betway, NetBet, 1xBet or Doxxbet are licensed to offer top-quality betting services to Nigerian punters. So, you have plenty of options when it comes to picking the Nigerian betting site with the highest odds.
Since there’s high competition among betting sites in Nigeria, standing out of the bunch requires some effort. That’s excellent news for punters though. The top 5 betting sites in Nigeria got there by providing highly competitive odds, fast payouts and a plethora of live and pre-match football odds. Of course, just because the focus goes to football, other sports like tennis or basketball shouldn’t be ignored either.
A strong mobile platform is also a must for all Nigeria bookmakers since there are over 150 million smartphone users in the country. And, of course, allowing punters to bet in NGN and enjoy a fully-translated website, ensures extra points for all bookies offering these services.
Even though online betting is regulated, there are no sustained efforts to prevent international betting sites from offering betting services to Nigerian punters. Even though there is a list of 20 betting companies that are suspended by the LSLB, none of the best betting sites in Nigeria 2020 is among them. Furthermore, trustworthy bookies licensed in Europe are still easily accessible and some offer high-quality Nigerian betting apps. With no DNS or payment blocks, Nigerian punters can access them even without a VPN software. And just in case your access is denied at any of the bookmakers, you can always rely on a good VPN and ewallet services to enjoy any bookie out there.
Despite all the progress towards building a solid online betting landscape in Nigeria, the matter of correct payment infrastructure still remains solved. There are still a lot of people that have no bank accounts or credit cards, therefore, they can’t use the popular online payment options at Nigerian bookmakers with the highest odds. However, after strong participation from the Nigeria bookmakers association, solutions started to appear. Fintech companies like Paystack, Flutterwave, and Interswitch are hard at work to provide more payment options to Nigerians.
Of course, ewallets like Neteller and Skrill, together with VISA and MasterCard are also viable deposit options in the territory. Keep in mind that not many Nigerian online bookmakers accept Naira currency, though. So, when using Skrill or Neteller, you will need to exchange currency to EUR, USD or GBP.
The world’s biggest betting exchange, and surely Nigeria’s best bookmaker – if they were active in the region – Betfair does not accept new registrations from Nigeria. And while other betting exchanges don’t limit access to Nigerian punters, it’s still recommended to keep a VPN software handy just in case you need it. Same as before, these betting exchanges will not offer NGN currency so you will need to use the popular international currencies instead.
If you are betting at bookmakers that have acquired a license in Nigeria, then either the LSLB or the National Lottery Regulatory Commission are your main points of contact. Otherwise, the licensing authorities of European-licensed bookies are the best way to go. The trustworthy licensing authorities like MGA or UKGC can be easily reached by punters. Just in case you’re having any trouble reaching bookmakers, make sure to let us know about it and we’ll do our best to make your case heard.