The Future of Sports Betting in Nigeria
Nigeria and central Africa in general are becoming increasingly popular for international sports betting businesses, however not everyone is ready to embrace it.
Some brands may deem it risky to invest time and funds into an operation in this region and some might not be entirely sure if they fully understand the “rules of the game” here. These concerns are actually valid and in order to better understand what to expect and in turn, what Nigerian players expect from a betting brand – we can have a closer look and some key things, which might not be so obvious at first glance.
A Large Portion of Players in Nigeria Still Prefer Retail
While today a lot of punters around the globe might have never even been to a retail betting shop – almost a half of Nigeria’s 65 million active punters still prefer this type of betting over online / app betting and there are several reasons behind that.
The main reasons are economic – due to the specifics of this region a significant percentage of people cannot afford having modern devices and continuous internet connection to bet online. Not interacting with gadgets and tech on a daily basis produces a lack of fundamental internet skills, which are required to register, use online banking, deposit funds and withdraw winnings – people often see betting at shops as saving their time.
Even players who use gadgets on a daily basis and have 24/7 internet access still often prefer not to bet online due to fees – making a small deposit of just 200 Naira ($0.53) might require to pay the same amount in fees, which is still decent money for some residents of this region.
Finally, sports betting in Nigeria is a popular “social” activity – betting shops are usually buzzing with people from all walks of life. They serve as places to exchange predictions and discuss recent news, betting shops are used as places to meet friends and just hang out.
International Brands are Moving into Nigeria
While it is clear, that retail betting holds the throne in Nigeria right now – it is also clear, that times are changing and changing rapidly. There is more and more access to budget tech as well as cheaper internet connections, the new generation of Nigerian youth already have access to all that, they are tech savvy and they appreciate the comfort that comes with being able to do things online.
This has been picked up by quite a few big names in the betting industry, who opened dedicated Nigerian betting sites such as 22Bet Nigeria. 22Bet operates in multiple countries around the globe including the United Kingdom, where they hold a valid UKGC license, so you can see they mean business.
The number of players, who will move over to online betting is only going to grow in the coming years – Nigeria is opening up for new and more flexible payment systems, which are going to play an important role in this transition. Having access to quick and easy banking is going to remove a big and probably most significant concern punters have today.
How Will All the New Businesses Co-exist?
Native Nigerian brands are the ones who have the biggest share at the moment, as they are the ones who are able to host retail betting shops, but how will things look like when online betting takes the lead?
Doesn’t seem like anything dramatic is going to happen, this is the case in other regions – there are local betting brands and there are international ones, at the end of the day having a choice is always good and people will simply pick whichever brand offering the kind of content they prefer. Nigerian businesses might need to improve their game to compete with bigger bookmakers and that, again, will only be better for punters, as they will get a better quality product.
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