The gaming industry in Nigeria has grown over the years, benefitting from; the large and youthful population, improving internet penetration, and the increasing access to internet-enabled devices. Sports betting has slowly emerged as a lucrative segment, leveraging Nigeria’s huge football culture. Some of the big leagues, such as the English Premier league, and the Spanish La Liga, have millions of fans in the country – betting provides Nigerians the opportunity to earn from what they love. Despite the temporary dip in economic activities in 2016, growth prospects are positive even as the economy rebounds, and income stabilises.
An important aspect that has contributed to the rise in gaming industry has been the broadening of the customer base to include the young middle-class Nigerians, repealing the stereotype that the industry only succeeded in attracting the lower income earners. This trend has been supported by improved mobile penetration- Data from Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), shows that mobile penetration increased from 36% to ~50% in the last three years, accorded to increased awareness through aggressive expansion and marketing by operators as well as technological improvements in payment platforms. To some extent, the need for additional income in the face of the recent economic recession which has left a number of youths unemployed and underemployed has provided a
boost to the base of gaming users – in particular, sports betting and lotteries.
As such, gaming has evolved since Nigerians are sport loving people and it has become easy to stake cash on what they are passionate about. According to a 2015 publication on Football betting in Nigeria, most bets are placed in bet shops while an increasing number of customers are placing bets online. In addition, Business Monitor International (BMI) research forecasts 182 million mobile subscribers in 2021, from the current 153 million. The expectation is that as the number of internet subscribers increase, so will the number of gaming users.