Nigeria has been reporting surging rates of interest towards sports betting activities and lotteries. Millions of people with various employment situation are participating in the gambling activities on a daily basis both as a pastime and as a potential source of revenue. It is known that the economy of the country is in the process of recuperating from the recession and this has inevitably affected the financial well-being of the nation.
In the last several months the gaming industry in the country has seen a rapid pace of development and at the moment there are as many as 45 betting companies and web pages which offer some form of wager activity. With the hopes of making fast money and improving their financial state, many people participate in the said betting pastimes and test the level of knowledge they have when it comes to their favorite sports teams, for example. The age group which participates most in the gaming activity are youth from the age of 18 to adults aged 40, which makes it one of the preferred pastime activities for a large part of the population.
Sports Betting Changes the Nation’s Habits
The country is trying to make up for the passed time and striving to catch up with the leading gambling hubs around the world. Some of the operators which provide entertainment at the moment are Naijagaming, Lionsbet, Megabet, Bigmoneybet, Powerbet, Naija4win, Yangabet, Ebonybet, Fortunebetng, Globalbet, Betwazobia, Betfada, Billionairebet, Lokabet, and Megastarbet. One of the most popular sectors is football, as many enthusiasts feel like they know the players and their style of game. This gives them the sense that they are capable of predicting the exact outcome of a certain match, the scores, and many others.
It has been reported that as many as 60 million Nigerians participate in the wagger activities and spend about N1.8 billion (US$4,986,000) on sports betting over the span of 24 hours. This means that an average investment per day amounts to N3,000 (US$8.31). A further boost for the industry has been the introduction of big brands in the field such as the English Premier League, Laliga, Champions League, French Ligue 1, Italian Serie A, and the German Bundesliga. Mitchell Obi, a well-known sports analyst, stated that people turn to the new field in an attempt to come across an unexpected income and provide for themselves and their families.
However, according to him, it is not the passion for the game that pushes them in this direction. The reason is more primal and this is the drive to survival. The level of unemployment in the country has reached its highest rate in the last seven years, ballooning to 14.2 percent towards the end of 2016. In the meantime, mobile data and usage became more prominent in the area and this led to the inevitable prevalence of sports wager in the life of millions.
There is a positive side as well, since lottery and sports betting could provide limitless opportunities for employment, as it was confirmed by Niyi Adekunle, MD/CEO of Lotgrand, operator of Grandlotto and FirstBet. This new approach gives food for thought to many people in Nigeria and could be one of the ways towards a positive impact on the economy.