Active players: 60.100.000
Currency: Nigerian Naira (NGN)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, casino games, lottery
Operator types: Licensed online & land-based bookmakers, land-based casinos, lotteries - international bookies operating without a license
Designated authority: National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC)
Nigeria is not only the birthplace of legendary stars like Jay-Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu and the country from which Giannis Antetokounmpo originates, but also home to the most passionate football bettors in all of Africa. There are many betting sites in Nigeria, although it’s true that gambling may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this country. Sports betting is considered nowadays as an integral part of the Nigerian culture. There are also many betting shops located in all 36 states. However, in recent years, due to the development of the technological infrastructure and the wider availability of the Internet, there is a constant emergence of new online betting sites. All gambling-related activities are being monitored by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), that was set up along with the establishment of the National Lottery Act, in 2005. Since then, multiple local bookies, as well as international ones, operate in a fast-growing betting environment which is full of great opportunities for players.
Betting in Nigeria - 5 things you should know
- The legal gambling age stands at 18
- Currently the NLRC has issued licenses for 27 betting sites
- 87% of Nigerians access the internet through their mobile phone
- Punters are not taxed on their winnings
- Roulette, dice games and non-skilled card games are illegal
Best bookies in Nigeria
Right from the start we present you with the top betting sites in Nigeria. We selected them because they have high odds, offer acca bonuses and accept the Naira.
Online betting in Nigeria: The bookmaker environment
Betting along with other types of gambling in Nigeria that are deemed as skill-based (namely specific land-based casino games and lottery), is considered totally legal since the introduction of the Criminal Code Act back in 1990. During the mid-2000s new gambling laws were established by the government, in an attempt to regulate gambling in Nigeria. More specifically, in 2004 the Lagos State Lotteries Law was introduced and it gave to the Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) the power to issue licenses for operators. Nonetheless, on March 30, 2005 the National Lottery Act came into force and the country got a state-owned licensing authority under the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). Nowadays, the gambling environment is clearly dominated by sports betting. In particular, football betting sites in Nigeria are the most popular and enjoy the attention of over 60% of the punters. On the other hand, there are lots of bettors that prefer the numerous betting shops situated across the country.
Betting shops in Nigeria
In all 36 states there are various betting shops that are actually located in the most populated cities, with the vast majority being situated in the capital, Abuja. Furthermore, major licensed bookies in Nigeria such as Bet9ja, Nairabet, Surebet247, SportyBet and 1960bet have betting shops in the country’s largest city, Lagos. Nevertheless, due to the fact that the Internet is becoming widely available within the country and online bookies are far more convenient and comfortable to use; an increasing number of local bettors prefer online betting. Moreover, due to the widespread use of mobile phones, most of the punters that choose to go online, do so from their smartphones or tablets; with 1xBet providing the best mobile betting services.
New bookmakers in Nigeria
Online betting in Nigeria is allowed both on domestic betting sites as well as on international bookmakers. Some of the biggest global brands, such as 1xBet and 22bet, decided to apply for a local license. Nonetheless, there are many foreign bookmakers in Nigeria that operate without a license. Technically, those bookies are considered illegal; however, no legal action has been taken against them nor against players that bet on them. The top international sportsbooks that accept locals are:
1xbet ng offers excellent bonuses and promotions both to its newly registered and existing players. Moreover, it is known as one of the best acca bookmakers and one of the bookies with the highest odds on Premier League fixtures. It also has a mobile-friendly interface and gives punters the option to use Naira (NGN) as their currency and make deposits via the Verve debit card and via Quickteller.
22Bet provides players with an excellent welcome bonus, with more than 100 betting markets on fixtures of the Nigerian Professional Football League and very competitive odds on matches of the English Premier League. Furthermore, it is among the best bet sites in Nigeria in terms of live betting and in terms of daily promotions. Depositing funds on your account can be done via any payment method you prefer (e.g. credit/debit cards, instant banking) and in your own currency (i.e. the Naira).
Bet365Naija is considered as one of the best bookmakers when it comes to football; as it is known for its high odds on matches of the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A and for the variety of betting options that it provides. Furthermore, it has a great mobile app, an advanced live betting platform and it allows you to deposit with any of the popular international methods.
Full list of licensed betting companies in Nigeria
Do you wonder which betting companies hold an NG license? Here is the full list of all the bookies that operate legally under the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and the Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB).
|NLRC licensees||LSLB licensees|
Foreign betting sites that accept Nigerian Naira
One of the things that bothers a lot of punters is the currency conversion fee. Thus, if you want to avoid it, it is preferable to find bookmakers that offer the Nigerian Naira as a standard currency; since the currency exchange is steep and you could also face added fees. Apart from local bookies like Bet9ja Nigeria and Nairabet, there are international bookmakers like Melbet, 1xBet and 22Bet that allow Nigerian punters to place bets in their local currency.
When it comes to account funding, Nigerian betting sites offer punters several domestic payment options with the most important ones being Interswitch, Paystack, and Flutterwave.
It is a payment platform that consists of the most popular payment methods that one can find on bet companies in Nigeria. Those are: Quickteller that is available on 1xBet, Paydirect that can be found on the domestic bookie Lionsbet and WebPay that is automatically connected to your bank card.
A payment method that competes with Interswitch and Flutterwave for fintech supremacy in Nigeria. By choosing Paystack when depositing with your credit card, you will be able to have your credit card safely saved in your account and spare the time spent on introducing the details every time you play online. Punters can make instant deposits using Paystack at bookies like Nairabet ng, Access Bet and Blackbet.
One of the most common payment methods in Africa. As a matter of fact, it is a payment platform that allows banks to process credit card, electronic and mobile payments with ease. Such thing means that bettors can select the way they wish to deposit funds to their account and Flutterwave will automatically process their transaction.
Some other payments that are also popular are: credit/debit cards like the local Verve, instant bank transfers through domestic banks like GTBank and e-wallets such as Skrill or Neteller.
Despite the fact that the transition from offline to online betting is happening quite fast, the online market is dominated by local bookies that have a strong offline presence such as Bet9ja, Nairabet and SportyBet. Due to the complexity of the market, many foreign brands have decided not to apply for a license. Nevertheless, 1xbet and 22bet are two international bookmakers that have successfully localized their websites. There is no doubt, that the future of the market is bright, as online betting within the country is evolving, slowly but steadily, due to the broader internet accessibility and the widespread use of mobile phones.
Complete list of bookmakers in Nigeria
Betting in Naija and acca bets go hand in hand as the vast majority of local punters prefer combo betting. If you are fond of bookmakers that aim to further enhance your payout by offering accumulator bonuses that can increase your total winnings by 50% or more, then 1xBet, Bethard and LVBet are the top selections.
The best mobile betting services in Nigeria are provided by the top-class international bookmaker 1xBet and by Bet365. Other options such as 22bet or Melbet are also mobile-friendly with constant improvements brought to their interface.
The sport that the vast majority of Nigerian bettors love is football. So the top football betting websites that operate in the country are Bet365, 22Bet, 1xBet and Melbet. All four of them offer very high odds on football fixtures of the top European leagues and on the local NPFL.
The English Premier League is by far the best football league in all of Europe and one of the best in the world. Several bookies that operate in the Nigerian market allow you to bet on matches of the English Premiership, but the ones that offer the highest odds are Betfair Nigeria and Betway Nigeria.
Even though Yoruba and Hausa are both major languages in Nigeria, with Igbo being a recognized minority language as well, the domestic bookmakers want to promote their service all across the country. Thus, they deliver their websites in English so that every Nigerian can enjoy a top-quality betting experience.