The Best Betting Sites in Nigeria – Best Nigerian Sportsbooks for 2021
There has been a steady rise in Nigerian sportsbooks as the industry regulators allow more international operators to enter the market. Throughout this guide we look in detail at what it takes to become a best betting sites in Nigeria and thrive in Africa’s largest economy. The following sections we’ll rank operators over a series of characteristics including odds, markets, bonuses, customers service and more. Keep reading for the full report.
Bet at Safe Bookies Verified by our Reviewers
Available Leagues and Events
Top Bonuses and Promotions
The table above provides quick access to the specific sections of our review where we judge the top sports betting site in Nigeria across each performance area. In this process it will become abundantly clear that no two operators are the same, betting customers have unique requirements, and each bookmaker has a specific profile of strengths and weaknesses. This guide allows our readers to find the sportsbook in Nigeria perfect for their needs.
Our Top 10 Sports Betting Sites in Nigeria
Whether you’re looking for a sportsbook with the biggest welcome bonus, or the platform with the biggest payout on market odds – it’s important to recognise those exemplifying the broadest range of qualities. Our list of the best sport betting sites in Nigeria below is exactly that, the definitive list of platforms displaying the strongest overall quality in terms of betting experience for its users.
Below you can find the results of our investigation, and a summary of the overall strongest performing betting sites in Nigeria. These bookmakers are broadly speaking the best Nigeria has to offer betting enthusiasts, in specific areas there may be others which the remaining sections of this page will look into further. Each operator comes complete with a lucrative welcome bonus, a ranking out of five, and some noteworthy highlights.
|Best Betting Sites in Nigeria||Bonus Offers||Highlights||Rating||Secure Link||T&Cs|
|22Bet||100% Up to ₦ 50,000||46+, 1420+, 93.25%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Betfair||Deposit $30 Play With $60||29+, 101+, 94.83%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|bwin||100% up to $/€50 Deposit Bonus||35+, 106+, 94.09%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|NetBet||₦500 Free Bet||33+, 88+, 93.68%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Unibet||$25 Money back||34+, 230+, 94.19%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Bethard||100% up to €50 Bonus||21+, 130+, 92.55%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Ladbrokes||Bet €5 Get €20 Free Bet||39+, 154+, 92.55%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|bet365||Up to $30 in Bet Credits||42+, 88+, 94.25%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|888sport||Bet $10 Get $30||27+, 96+, 94.23%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Betway||100% up to ₦ 100,000||31+, 80+, 93.75%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
The above list of operators are all well-respected, trusted and regulated providers of sports betting – in our opinion they’re the best online betting sites in Nigeria. Every punter will have their own unique preferences when it comes to choosing a bookie, and we understand that the huge competition and variety in the industry creates a mixture of opinions on which bookmaker is definitively the best.
|Best Betting Site in Nigeria||Betway|
|Top New Betting Site in Nigeria||Bethard|
|Best for Bonuses||NetBet|
|Top Mobile App||Ladbrokes|
|Best for Live Betting||Unibet|
If you’re still looking for the perfect bookmaker and haven’t decided yet who you’ll open an account with, the following paragraphs are packed full of facts, figures and metrics to guide your decision making. Every betting site has a unique portfolio of strengths and weaknesses, and the Nigerian market as competitive as it is can at times be difficult to navigate for a newcomer.
If you’re new to betting in Nigeria and want to learn a bit more context on the dynamics of the sportsbook industry before delving into the heart of this review, why not check out our dedicated news section. We cover all manner of betting news from Nigeria and across the entire world.
The Criteria for Judging the Best Sports Betting Sites in Nigeria
The process for narrowing down the best bookmakers involves intense and targeted research methodology, a very time-consuming project for the average newcomer. Fortunately for our readers we’ve carried out this work for you, and in the following sections you will see the conclusions of our research and a definitive cluster of the top sports betting sites in Nigeria.
There is an extensive array of criteria we use to determine the best sports betting sites in Nigeria, the table below allows you to quickly navigate to each performance area considered in our analysis of the market. Some topics carry more weight in the ranking process, but in general each of the topics carry significant importance for gambling enthusiasts when selecting an operator. Click below on a segment to see how bookies fared in each category.
Sports and Leagues
Any passionate sports bettor will want access to a large amount of different sports and leagues with sports betting sites in Nigeria. As the first stage of our ranking process, we observed the amount of sports, quality of the offerings, and depth of leagues/fixtures within each sport – this combined ranking procedure led us to discover the six most popular betting sports in Nigeria, as shown in the table below.
Nigeria are an impressive force in the global football landscape, and the Super Eagles have massive popularity. Despite crashing out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stages, the national team is stacked with superstar players including; Alex Iwobi, and Wilfred Ndidi.
Basketball is incredibly popular amongst younger people in Nigeria. Schools across the country offer boys and girls many opportunities to play basketball, and there is a growing support throughout the country for NBA teams in North America.
The Nigerian Athletics setup is formidable and has produced some top-quality athletes over the decades. Nigeria has enjoyed great success in the Olympics, and a Nigerian sprinter Fasuba currently holds the African record for 100 meters with 9.85 seconds.
Traditional boxing, also referred to as Dembe, a sport that has few rules, it is fast, dangerous, and deeply rooted in the traditions of Nigeria. The men that participate are usually men who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of success in the ring.
There are two national teams representing the Nigeria Volleyball Federation in international tournaments. Both the male and female volleyball squads are located in Abuja, where they are managed by Musa Nimrod Maniyunda. It’s a great sport.
Cricket has been a sport played to a competitive level for nearly two centuries in Nigeria – first being played in the mid 19th century. The national team played their first match in 1904 when a team representing Lagos Colony played the Gold Coast Colony.
The sports listed in these tables above are far from an exhaustive list of all the possible gambling options at the country’s top sportsbooks. In Nigerian betting sites there are many sports available for wagering, with matches available for pre-match and in-play betting from across the world. It is not uncommon for an operator to offer upwards of 35 different sports for betting on its platform.
Beyond the classical sports betting options that we have discussed here, there are many alternative bets that can be struck. Some examples of these unorthodox gambling markets include TV shows, Eurovision song contest and elections. With major elections imminent in the United States, betting companies are already launching promotional campaigns and offering daily odds on the Democrat and Republican candidates winning chances.
Comparing the Odds Levels and Payouts at Top Bookies
Extracting value from the sportsbook is the modus operandi of a sportsbook gambler – and searching for best odds bookmakers and platforms with the highest payout is the task of any serious bettor. It’s important for those of us making high stakes to always get the best price for our wager, as 1 or 2% differences compound over time, and cumulatively create huge disparities in a P&L sheet over several months.
We have calculated the average commission taken from the true odds offered by the best betting sites in Nigeria for payout rates. The list below relates to a sample we took from the sportsbook during our research, whilst we tried to include the best representative sample as possible in our analysis, there may be significant differences on future betting markets.
- 22Bet – 93.25% Payout Rate
- Betfair – 94.83% Payout Rate
- Bwin – 94.09% Payout Rate
- NetBet – 93.68% Payout Rate
- Unibet – 94.19% Payout Rate
- Bethard – 92.55% Payout Rate
- Ladbrokes – 92.55% Payout Rate
- bet365 – 94.25% Payout Rate
- 888sport – 94.23% Payout Rate
- Betway – 93.75% Payout Rate
Looking at the bookmakers’ odds in the table above you can see an average payout rate for each operator based on a sample taken across many sports at the platform. The above results should be used as guidance, as they will most likely differ from the future market odds levels. Remember to always remain vigilant and flexible in your approach to online betting, be ready to use a multitude of operators and secure the best odds.
Bonuses, Betting Offers and Sportsbook Promotions
One of the most utilized tools at the disposal of online betting sites for increasing their customer base are betting promotions. Modern operators have many creative betting bonuses, free bets, enhanced odds and other such promotions currently available. Check out our table below detailing the best operators for extending value to their new customers.
|Nigerian Betting Site||Welcome Bonus||Deposit Features||Rating||Secure Link||T&C’s|
|22Bet||100% Up to ₦50,000||5x, 7 day, 1.40||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Betfair||Deposit $30 Play With $60||10x, 90 days, 1.60||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Bwin||100% up to $/€50 Bonus||3x, 30 days, 1.70||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|NetBet||₦500 Free Bet||1x, 7 day, 1.10||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Unibet||$25 Money back||5x, 30 days, 1.40||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
When it comes to welcome bonuses it seems like no two offers are the same, moreover, operators are constantly changing their promotion packages to meet the current demand. Above you can claim a mixture of bookmakers’ free bets, deposit match bonuses and enhanced odds promotions. Each represent a big opportunity for new players to get off to a flying start with these quality sportsbooks.
|Bonus Category||Betting Site|
|🥇 Best Bonus in Nigeria||22Bet|
|🥈 Top Odds Levels||Betfair|
|🥉 Best Promotion Range||Bethard|
|◻️ High-Value Payouts||Ladbrokes|
|◻️ Great Welcome Offer||bet365|
|◻️ Quality Platform||Betway|
Claiming a sportsbook bonus requires a lot of foresight and understanding of the terms and conditions involved. Make sure to read the full wagering terms, the validity period and any other special conditions attached to the offer before making your first qualifying deposit. We weighed in the ease of bonus terms into our ranking of the top bonuses above.
There are many pitfalls that the betting websites bonus presents for inexperienced new players, particularly with rollover requirements attached to a deposit match promotion. Many operators run this offer as a standard for new players, but fulfilling the full rollover amount in the time frame that can be difficult to achieve for several reasons.
Rollover requirements mean you have to bet six times the total of your first deposit and bonus on the sportsbook, with a minimum odds threshold and time limit applied. The wagering requirements ensure that the customer has to take on risky bets to unlock the total bonus amount, and the time limit on some betting sites promotions for new players can be as short as 14 days.
Type of Bets
In the Nigerian bookmaker market there are many markets available to bet on, and the best sportsbook operators in the country exercise a comprehensive coverage across all sports on the platform. A typical Premier League football fixture at the best sportsbooks will come complete with over 130 separate bet types, from Asian Handicaps to specific players to pick up yellow cards.
Sportsbook betting options are an incredibly important metric for judging overall platform quality – and this is an area of the ranking procedure where we do apply a lot of weight. Below you can see a range of markets that are typical bet types offered by top quality bookies in Nigeria. There are many unusual bet types around for those willing to look, below are some of the most unorthodox you’ll find in Nigerian sportsbooks.
Every player will have their own priorities when it comes to choosing between betting sites in Nigeria – but we implore you to look out for operators featuring the most diverse range of bet types. There is nothing worse than having a hunch about something happening in a fixture, only to discover that the market doesn’t exist at the bookmaker you’re using.
Safety and Security
The predominant theme of our ranking has been largely superficial and based on small differences between bookmakers up until this point in the guide. Choosing the safest online betting sites is something that should always be a top priority of any new player, betting is already a risky hobby – don’t add to that risk by using a rogue operator who may leak your personal details, or worse.
When choosing a new betting site it is highly advisable to scroll to the bottom of the home screen and look for the partnered organisations used by the firm to ensure that a safe gambling experience is maintained. The following organisations regulate the industry, ensure responsible gambling practices are implemented, encrypt web-traffic, and independently audit bookmakers in an effort to stamp up financial fraud.
In our list of top bookmakers security is one of the primary ranking factors used by our team, we set a high-standard when it comes to promoting sportsbooks, and only work with companies that exemplify the strictest levels of responsible and safe gambling on their platform.
- Entrust Datacard
- UK Gambling Commission
- Responsible Gambling Council
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- International Centre for Responsible Gambling
Top quality sports betting sites will implement features to identify and prevent the occurrence of compulsive gambling. Specifically, they will advise players who are logged in for long periods that they should take a break, apply deposit limits to customers identified as displaying addictive tendencies, and persistently block customers who identify themselves as needing timeout from betting activities.
Ultimately, if the website appears on our guide to betting in Nigeria it has achieved a high-degree of security. We cannot guarantee that every bookmaker available to Nigerians will be safe though, and that is why it is important to always read reviews online, check to see which third-party organisations are partnered with the operator, and exercise your own due diligence before committing financial resources.
Top Nigerian Mobile Betting Apps
Flexibility and convenience are the two most sought after attributes when it comes to modern sportsbooks. Gambling companies recognise this, and there are many fantastic Nigerian betting apps in circulation. These mobile apps are capable of offering customers a premium experience and instant access to betting markets whilst on-the-go.
When it comes to judging the quality of a betting app, there are several differences compared to judging the quality of a desktop platform. The streamlined nature of the bet placement process is important, number of taps, ease-of-depositing and navigating across the sportsbook directories all play a significant role in delivering the best sports betting app user experience.
- 888sport Mobile App – Big variety of markets
- Betway Mobile App – Fast and responsive
- bet365 Mobile App – Lightweight and quick download
- Ladbrokes Mobile App – Excellent in-play arena
- Bethard Mobile App – Rapid bet placement
The aforementioned characteristics of a good betting app is not the limit of what is possible, and around the world there are several multinational gambling companies offering incredible betting experiences over their mobile platform. Nice extra features to have on mobile include full account management capabilities, direct access to the entire sportsbook, and as the next section will explain in more detail – live streaming of in-play sports events.
Live Betting & Live Streaming
Nigerian gamblers are huge consumers of live betting and flock towards platforms that are able to offer the highest-quality in-play arenas. Just like pre-match betting, live betting quality is determined by market depth, high odds levels, and great user-experience. Subtle differences include the speed of bet placement, in-play graphics to assist decision making, and the facilitation of cash-out.
Below is the result of our research into the best live sports betting sites currently available to players in Nigeria. Be aware that this list of operators is not necessarily the top bookmakers in the entire suite og gambling products, here we are specifically ranking for the quality of the in-play arena – giving more importance to live-streaming, in-play graphics, cash out and many other unique aspects related to betting on sport live.
|Live Betting Site||Welcome Bonus||Live Features||Rating||Secure Link||T&C’s|
|22Bet||100% Up to ₦ 50,000||1001+, Yes, Yes||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Betfair||Deposit $30 Play With $60||500+, Yes, Yes||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Bwin||100% up to $/€50 Bonus||300+, Yes, Yes||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|NetBet||₦500 Free Bet||350+, Yes, Yes||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Unibet||$25 Money back||500+, Yes, Yes||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
As we mentioned there are several key characteristics we look for when defining our list of top live sportsbooks. The capability to offer live-streaming is a big one – there are many operators able to facilitate this. To view sports live through a video feed on the sportsbook you’ll need to load your account with cash and place bets on the games you want to watch, this will activate the streaming capability if it is available for the fixture.
Banking Methods at Nigerian Betting Sites
Banking at an online sportsbook can be troublesome with lesser quality platforms. Variety of deposit and withdrawal methods is an important consideration a new player should think about, using a bank card, eWallet, or a cryptocurrency are all possible if you know where to look. The best sports betting site in Nigeria have a number of regular choices as we’ve outlined below.
Top bookies in Nigeria offer a wide variety of mobile payment, eWallet and banking options. Also, they support customers making large deposits, with many sportsbooks allowing deposits in excess of NGN2million. Whilst we don’t have a complete review for all the possible payment options in Nigeria in our site, you’ll be pleased to know there is a huge amount of choice.
|Payment Method||Type||Deposit Limit||Deposit/Withdrawal||Payment Fee|
|Visa||Debit Card||NGH500 – 2,000,000||Available for Deposits / Available for Withdrawals||No Fees|
|Mastercard||Credit Card||NGH500 – 2,000,000||Available for Deposits / Available for Withdrawals||No Fees|
|Neteller||eWallet||NGH1000 – 1,000,000||Available for Deposits / Available for Withdrawals||1.5% – 1.5%|
|Skrill||eWallet||NGH500 – 1,500,000||Available for Deposits / Available for Withdrawals||1.5% – 1.5%|
|PayPal||eWallet||NGH1000 – 1,250,000||Available for Deposits / Not Available for Withdrawals||No Fees|
This list above is not the exhaustive list of payment options available to Nigerian gamblers. There are many eWallets actively operating within this market, but many of them lack the stability and broad capabilities as those listed above. For guaranteed safe and efficient payments to and from the sportsbook we recommend using the options listed here.
You’ll be pleased to know that PayPal betting is possible for Nigerian punters. The world’s most popular eWallet is available in over 200 countries and remains the safest, quickest and most efficient banking method for internet payments. But there are some limitations, and transactions from the sportsbook, i.e. withdrawals, are not possible using PayPal in Nigeria.
- Speedy Withdrawals
- Fast Deposits
Whilst there are no fees involved when sending money to the betting wallet using PayPal, not being able to receive funds back into your PayPal wallet is a major drawback. So Nigeria has a limited usage potential for the eWallet – in years to come the fintech firm will likely review the current policy and may allow further transaction types to be executed over the PayPal network.
Functionality and Responsiveness of Websites
The underlying functionality of a betting platform is a broad characteristic that includes speed of load times, navigation and general responsiveness of the frontend across different screen sizes. Also, we look at the design of the user interface and the quality of the experience for a user conducting tasks such as depositing, withdrawing and placing bets.
Fortunately for Nigerian punters, there are many well-funded international bookmakers operating in this market. Multinational betting companies typically employ large teams of software engineers who are constantly rolling out improvements and new features to the platform – resulting in a superior betting experience and website functionality.
We’ve mentioned many fundamental characteristics of a betting platform throughout this review, all of them are essential components of a quality gambling experience, but there are still several other features that are nice to have. These so-called extra features include live-streaming, virtual sports markets, cashout and more.
The extra features can elevate a sub-standard bookmaker and bring up its overall quality in specific areas of the platform. Similarly, a well-funded multinational online betting sites can lose ground on the competition by simply failing to integrate some of the extra features you can see in the table below.
|Betting Site||Live Streaming||Cashout||Livescore||Fast Bet||Virtual Sports|
We’ve listed the online betting sites in Nigeria that are best serving the needs of betting customers through the implementation of extra features at the platform. Every bookie makes an effort to win bigger market share, and the massive competition between the betting companies has forced them to keep improving their overall package. Look out for bookies fulfilling all of these extra features on their platform when you choose a new sportsbook.
Customer Support Mechanisms
As for any online business, fulfilling a high-quality customer service is essential to maintaining a reputation amongst the community of users. Good and bad customer service can make or break a bookie, as the old saying goes it takes years to build a reputation and minutes to destroy it. A few mistreated customers who are vocal about their bad experience can have a compounding effect and crumble the trust people have in a bookmaker.
Below is an overview of the customer service options available at the top sports betting sites in Nigeria. In this country there is a large variety of contact routes to the customer support team. As you can see below the response times fluctuate between a few minutes, and a few hours. Make sure to choose the appropriate contact option for your query.
|Contact Method||Availability at Nigerian Sportsbooks||Response Time||Usually Available|
|☎️ Telephone||Common||Up to 5 Minutes||12 hours a day|
|📧 E-Mail/Contact Form||Common||Up to 12 Hours||12 hours a day|
|👩⚕️ Live Chat||Common||Up to 10 Minutes||12 hours a day|
|💬 Messenger||Common||Up to 5 Minutes||12 hours a day|
|🌐 Social Networks||Rare||Up to 24 Hours||8 hours a day|
As you can see from the table above there are many viable options when it comes to contacting the customer support teams at Nigerian sportsbooks. We recommend using live chat to resolve any urgent issues – and email as an option to outline any issues that are less urgent and more nuanced in nature. If you’d just prefer to talk to someone directly then picking up the phone and dialling the customer support phone number is always an option.
Reputation of the Sportsbook
As we stated in the section above, reputation is everything when it comes to sportsbook. Customers at online betting sites need to feel that they can trust the operator, gambling by nature is a risky endeavor and customers do not need to feel any undue duress from an unstable and untrustworthy platform.
In our analysis of the betting sites in the country we looked closely at many sources of information including local news, customer reviews and the financial statements of the company. There are many quality sources that customers can use, and simply Googling the brand in question with the word ‘review’ afterwards is a good place to start.
Simple Steps to Open a Betting Account in Nigeria
The first step of your journey when starting out betting with Nigerian bookmakers is to open an account. Once you have chosen a sportsbook to utilise for your betting needs, it’s time to initiate the registration procedure. The first stage is to land on the homepage of your chosen operator, look for the sign-up button and launch the registration form. Below is a step-by-step guide to a typical sign-up process at an online betting site in Nigeria.
Select one of the operators from the list of top bookmakers in Nigeria on this page.
Register your account with the bookmaker by completing the sign-up form at the site.
Confirm your details with the sign-up process by confirming your details with proof.
When completing the registration make sure to enter all of your information absolutely and 100% accurately, as you will need to verify it with the sportsbook before completing any withdrawals. The whole process doesn’t take more than a few minutes, and in truth is very easy to start with Nigerian online bookmakers.
eSports: CS:GO Betting Sites & More
There has certainly been a wave of excitement over the past decade, and throughout the Nigerian gambling sector many fantastic eSports betting sites are cropping up. A new generation of gaming enthusiasts have become a catalyst for this new style of betting. With a major increase in demand, bookies are building high-quality and eSports optimised betting portals for a wide-variety of popular titles.
The table below is a comprehensive overview of the top bookies in this space, the best CS:GO betting sites, and the platforms serving fans of eSports across Nigeria. Betting on eSports is similar to regular sports in the sense that variety of markets, odds levels and platform efficiency go a long way to defining a great user-experience. Also, sign-up with one of the options below to be in line to receive a lucrative welcome bonus.
|eSports Betting Site||Welcome Bonus||Highlights||Rating||Secure Link||T&C’s|
|22Bet||100% Up to ₦ 50,000||222+, 93.25%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Betway||100% up to ₦ 100,000||22+, 93.75%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|Bwin||100% up to $/€50 Bonus||13+, 94.09%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|888sport||Bet $10 Get $30||33+, 94.23%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
|bet365||Up to $30 in Bet Credits||23+, 94.25%||Visit Site!||Full T&Cs Apply! New customer offer. Please gamble responsibly. 18+|
To summarise eSports betting in Nigeria, it is clear that we are largely in unchartered territory. The activity is far behind the popularity of traditional sports, unlike in Europe and North America. However, there is plenty of empirical evidence to suggest that trends in betting habits are changing, gaming at the professional standard is now commonplace, and the younger generation are becoming more interested in watching eSports live streams.
The Gambling Environment and Regulation in Nigeria
Gambling in Nigeria is regulated by the National Lottery Regulation Commission, the organisation established to implement and construct the laws governing the gambling industry in Nigeria. For many decades citizens in this country have had access to best sports betting sites from Europe, and only recently did domestic institutions also make entrepreneurial moves into this high-growth market.
The gambling environment and the general approach to betting is positive, and Nigeria has taken a very progressive approach to enterprise betting throughout the country. In the next paragraphs we will discuss the legal framework that governs the industry in more detail, highlighting specific laws, regulators and the changes throughout history that contributed to the sportsbook ecosystem in its current state.
Gambling Commission & Licence
|🎰 Fixed Odds Betting Terminals||750|
|📑 Betting Shops||95|
|🏛️ Land-Based Casinos||25|
|💻 All Licensed Sportsbooks||23|
|🏆 Best-Rated Safe Betting Sites||Our Picks|
The sportsbook industry in Nigeria is largely fragmented, disorganised and not very well regulated. Although in practice betting laws do exist and there are many legal sports betting sites, illegal casinos and gambling dens openly operate across the country. The biggest casino venue is the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos, and is the largest legal venue in the country. Nigerian law tends to focus on mitigating money laundering rather than enforcing nuanced technicalities upon gambling operators.
Online gambling in Nigeria is regulated by a government agency – the Nigerian Lottery Commission. Any bookmaker seeking to gain a license to legally operate in Nigeria has to obtain the approval of the agency. Nigerian law makes no attempt to restrict residents using offshore gambling providers, and in fact, makes no mention of online gambling at all. Although online betting sites legality is not explicitly mentioned in the laws, online operators are expected to maintain the same standards enforced on land-based casinos.
This is an incredibly competitive market, and there are many sports betting site in Nigeria vying to capitalise. With a huge population with high levels of wealth and internet access relative to the rest of the African continent, Nigeria has the perfect set of conditions for online gambling companies to thrive.
Gambling age is clearly defined by Nigerian law, and participants in the industry must be 18 years old. Payment gateways are relatively unrestricted, and residents can freely move money to and from the sportsbook with bank cards, eWallets and more recently US dollars exchange protocols. There is no legal restrictions on gambling payments in Nigeria.
- Arcadia Hospitality LTD – (22Bet) – Licence No ASGCL/013/19
- PPB Counterparty Services Ltd – (Betfair) – Licence No MGA/CRP/131/2006
- ElectraWorks Limited – (Bwin) - Licence No RGL no. 051
- NetBet Online Pools Ltd – (NetBet) – Licence No RC 1377874
- Trannel International Ltd – (Unibet) – Licence No MGA/B2C/106/2000
- Bethard Group Limited – (Bethard) – Licence No MGA/B2C/312/2015
- LC International Limited – (Ladbrokes) – Licence No RGL No. 010
- Hillside (Sports) ENC – (bet365) – Licence No MGA/B2C/532/2018
- 888 Holdings plc – (888sport) – Licence No MGA/CRP/543/2018
- Betway Limited – (Betway) – Licence No LSLB-OP-OSB-20425
Overall there are many reputable providers of online gambling in Nigeria – but as we mentioned, official regulation is largely meaningless in this country. Instead, punters would do better to select bookies that hold international licenses and have built a strong reputation in more tightly regulated markets in Europe and/or North America.
Websites to Avoid
Whilst there are many top quality online betting sites available for punters in Nigeria, the lack of a clearly defined regulatory network means the industry is flooded with sub-standard betting providers. Some of them are harmless in nature, and users will just be left disappointed with the quality of the betting experience rendered, however, some rogue gambling operators will make attempts to defraud players and other stakeholders.
Remaining vigilant and aware of the possibility of these scams is an important prerequisite when gambling in a largely unregulated market such as Nigeria. Below we have compiled a small list of websites to avoid – brands that have proven themselves untrustworthy, and thanks to the shared experiences of fellow our punters, we can warn you to avoid them.
We add bookmakers to our ‘websites to avoid’ list thanks to reports and investigations into rogue gambling operators. Sadly, there are many criminals out there who use gambling as a front to conduct illicit activity and sometimes run fraud operations under the guise of trusted betting sites.
Timeline and Future Outlook of Nigerian Gambling
The history of gambling in Nigeria is a long a diverse tale of regulatory misalignment, foreign investment and instability. Along the way there have been a few noteworthy milestones, the following timeline will stop off at the most significant and offer an explanation of each pivotal moment.
Since late 1990 gambling has been legal in all forms. It has been loosely defined as lottery, land-based casino and sports betting – with very little attention of specificity applied to the online medium. It’s important to understand the context in which the current landscape of betting in Nigeria exists. Keep reading below for the complete history of sportsbooks in this nation.
- 1965: Casino Taxation Act Before this regulatory intervention, the entire gambling industry was largely unregulated. Although several policies already existed, this bill was the first to formalise betting and dictate the tax rate liable for operators.
- 1977: Gaming machines are prohibited Nigeria launches a crackdown against gaming machines i.e. slots, owning or importing these machines is made a felony crime, only licensed casinos are allowed to own and operate slots machines following this law.
- 1990s: New policies introduced After existing as a largely unregulated industry, the 1990s saw many attempts on the federal and local level to introduce regulation to the gambling industry in Nigeria. Including the Taxes and Levies Act 1998, and a new constitution in 1999.
- 2004: Casino and Gaming Law of Lagos State This law was specifically targeted towards land-based casinos operating in Nigeria. With increases in external privatization interests, the new law would give casino owners greater flexibilities in managing their assets.
- 2007: National Lottery Regulatory Commission A new regulator is established in Nigeria to oversee the rapidly changing gambling landscape in Nigeria. With much greater interest from the younger generation, gambling popularity is exploding and needs greater oversight from a new commission.
- 2011: Money Laundering Prohibition Act The majority of attention within the Nigerian regulatory stance towards gambling consists of monitoring money laundering activity. The new bill outlines new processes and strategies for tackling money laundering within the country’s gaming industry.
It’s clear that a lot has changed in the past decade, the gaming industry has continued to expand, mostly due to; a young and large population, greater access to internet, and better access to necessary hardware i.e. smartphones. Sports betting has emerged as the most dominant form of gambling in the country, leveraging the popularity of football and huge following of major European leagues.
With a broadening customer base, an influx of foreign betting companies and ability to deliver more lucrative partnerships – the industry is showing positive signs of growth. Regulation remains the main focus of industry players, to stabilise and legitimise gambling in Nigeria, a strong regulatory framework is still needed. The current overlap between federal and state regulatory bodies is the main friction point, and resolving it will be key to encouraging further foreign investment in the Nigerian gaming industry.
Betting in Nigeria: In Need of Regulatory Overhaul
There is a major need and desire from many industry stakeholders to overhaul the regulatory framework currently in place. Improving the consistency of licensing, development and transparency of betting operations within the gaming industry is essential for its long term prosperity of all betting sites in Nigeria.
You can of course enjoy a great selection of high-quality operators that we have picked out for you, and opening an account with one or two of them would certainly serve you well on any future ventures you have when betting on sports in Nigeria. Below you can see our definitive round-up of the top eight operators in a series of important categories.
- 22Bet – Best Nigerian Bookie
- Betfair – Top Exchange Betting
- Bwin – Great for Football
- NetBet – Diverse Range of Markets
- Unibet – High Payouts
- Bethard – Quality Promotions
- Ladbrokes – Trusted Bookmaker
- bet365 – World-renowned Operator
- 888sport – Top In-Play Betting
- Betway – Best for Basketball
We regularly monitor this page and audit the content for accuracy. As this is an incredibly dynamic industry with intense foreign interest, it’s always worth checking back with us for any significant breakthroughs on the regulatory or foreign currency exchange issues. With that being said, the industry in its current form is filled with exciting options for a new player – and our reviews will aim to bring objective performance sports betting sites reviews on the market leaders.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many confusing points for a newcomer to Nigerian betting sites, that’s why in the following paragraphs we will answer some of our most frequently asked questions, touching on a variety of topics from best betting sites to the legality of gambling.
🥇 What are the best betting sites in Nigeria?
There are many foreign and domestic candidates for the top betting sites accolade, but as time goes by its becoming increasingly clear that the general quality is improving, especially with the influx of foreign companies in the Nigerian gaming sector.
🏆 What betting offers can I find at Nigerian sportsbooks?
Customers have a wide variety of options when it comes to betting offers in Nigeria, popular types include; free bets, deposit bonuses, and enhanced odds levels.
⚖️ Is betting legal in Nigeria?
All forms of gambling in Nigeria are completely legal, and due to sports betting regulation there is a prospering legal sportsbook industry throughout the country.
💳 Is PayPal betting possible in Nigeria?
Nigerians are able to process deposits and enjoy betting using PayPal - although withdrawals are not possible within Nigeria due to specific policies enacted by PayPal.
🔍 Are there any new betting sites you can recommend?
Our review team are always on the lookout for new betting sites in Nigeria. Make sure to check back with us in the future to see how the list of new operators evolves.
😎 Is live betting possible in Nigeria?
There is a wide-variety of gambling options throughout Nigeria, both pre-match betting and in-play betting are delivered at the highest standards.
👌 What is the best sport betting app I can download in Nigeria?
There are numerous top sports betting apps available to download in Nigeria, the operator you choose can depend on a number of variable factors and preferences.
🏤 Is it possible to bet on elections?
Sport remains the most popular type of betting market in Nigeria – but operators do offer many unorthodox bet types including TV shows and political betting.