Whether you are new to the idea of sports betting, or you are a veteran who has been wagering for years, you are probably most familiar with the traditional, brick-and-mortar bet shops where you can place football bets in person.
However, as online gambling becomes more regulated within Nigeria, online sports wagers are quickly overtaking in-person betting as the most popular way to bet on games.
At least 60 million Nigerians of legal gambling age are active in the sports betting markets, especially for football. Average numbers show that players spend about N3,000 daily placing wagers on matches, and there are no signs of this slowing down.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Nigeria?
The short answer to this question is yes, Nigerians can safely participate in sports betting online.
For decades, most forms of gambling were outlawed in Nigeria, but laws were passed in 2004, 2005 and 2007 that officially decriminalized live sports betting and left a regulatory grey area regarding online sportsbooks.
The Lagos State Lotteries Board, or LSLB, is responsible for regulating all lottery, sports betting and casino gaming in Nigeria, and they have taken steps toward more closely regulating online markets as well in order to protect Nigerians.
Additionally, the National Lottery Regulation Corporation (NLRC) is responsible for licensing all gambling operators in Nigeria, and they began issuing licenses to online gaming operators as well in 2013.
Is It Safe to Place Bets Online?
While the regulation of online sports betting in Nigeria is still in the somewhat early stages, the good news is that many of the most popular sportsbooks from Europe are highly reputable and tightly regulated. Many of these websites have excellent reputations and long histories of treating players well and paying out in a consistent and timely fashion.
Generally speaking, it is perfectly safe for Nigerians to place bets online. However, players should be cautious when registering for accounts on websites that cater specifically to Nigerians. There are plenty of safe and reputable ones available, but because of the explosion in popularity of sports betting, there are also some bad actors who seek to take advantage of new and inexperienced players.
Since the LSLB and NLRC have become more actively involved in the regulation and licensure of online casinos, Nigerians can now look for these official seals when checking out a Nigeria-based sports betting website to determine if it is legitimate or not.
Fortunately for players, there are also sites like Betnaija that provide players with an expertly vetted list of trusted online sportsbooks. This makes signing up and depositing a safe and pleasant experience so that players can focus on placing bets and making money.
Is Online Sports Betting Profitable?
While there are some people who place bets on football matches purely for fun, the majority of Nigerians prefer to make money with their sports bets.
The truth is that placing sports bets with online bookmakers can be even more profitable than placing bets with land-based shops if you take the time to do a bit of research.
This is because online sportsbooks will almost always offer a variety of welcome bonuses, new player bonuses and special promotions that can quickly add up to a considerable amount of additional cash.
Aside from the lucrative bonuses that can only be found on sports betting websites, there are also typically dozens of additional lines and markets to choose from, and this is something that players cannot get at a live betting shop.
Another reason that choosing an online sportsbook is often the better route for players is that there is more opportunity to take advantage of last-minute spread changes and better odds.
Players who open accounts on a few different reputable sports betting sites will be able to keep an eye on any late-game changes that can give them extra advantages when placing bets, which is another aspect of in-person betting that leaves punters at a disadvantage.
To recap, not only is online sports betting profitable, but in many cases it has more potential to be profitable than land-based wagers because:
- Online sportsbooks offer special bonuses and promotions for new and returning players.
- Players have a huge number of bet lines and markets to choose from online.
- Online bookmakers allow for last-minute bets with a possibility of improved odds.
Tips For Choosing the Best Betting Site
Even if you decide to choose a sportsbook from a site like Betnaija, you will still have several options to pick from.
A lot of the choice comes down to personal preference, but all of the best sites will have certain features that make getting started and placing bets easy on players.
These features include all of the following:
- Streamlined signups
The account creation process shouldn’t be complicated or time consuming. You should be able to enter your information, get verified quickly and move on to placing bets.
- Cross-platform compatibility
Any reputable sportsbook will have a website that is easy to navigate on a desktop, smartphone or tablet. Some will even have mobile apps that make the wagering process simple and fast.
- Verified licenses
Any online sports betting site that is trustworthy will have a clearly displayed seal of verification from the appropriate governing bodies. Be sure to click through on any badge icons to ensure that they are legitimate before you make your first deposit.
- Competitive bets
Before you decide on which sites you want to create an account for, take a look at their betting markets to see how the odds look and what types of wagers are available. Some sites will offer much better spreads and lines than others, so this is worth checking out before you commit.
Bet Online to Get the Most For Your Money
Online sportsbooks have only been available to Nigerians for a relatively short amount of time, but they have already overtaken the land-based bet shops in terms of popularity and profitability, so don’t hesitate to sign up and get in on the action.