Sports have a long history in Nigeria and are one of the central elements of Nigerian pop culture. The excitement and connection they bring among people are truly one of a kind. Just imagine living in a country where football is life.
Remember what Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, said after the maiden edition of the AITEO-Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) Awards in 2019: “I was told that in Nigeria, football is passion, but it is a lie because it is more than that. In Nigeria, I was told that football is love, but it is a lie it is more than that. In Nigeria, I was told that football is a religion, but it is a lie. It is more than that. In Nigeria, football is life.” He also added that football is also a business that can be used to earn a lot of money for the country.
And these are the words that really describe the country’s passion for sports (especially football) to its core. You will see it spreading all over the nation.
Alongside sports, one related activity found its way into the hearts of Nigerian people – sports betting. It’s been present among the residents for quite a long time; however, it didn’t always have the same reputation. Thanks to technical developments, sports betting has become one of the most popular pastimes in Nigeria. Let’s see how it all happened and how to find a reliable bookie today.
Evolution of Sports Betting in Nigeria
The first question that emerges is whether sports betting is legal in the country. The answer is very simple – yes.
Sports betting in Nigeria has a long and interesting history, but it was in the 21st century that it became a popular way to have fun. It first appeared in the country in the form of ‘pool betting’, and it was all about predicting football matches. It was the Brits who first brought it to the country, and it was at first intended for expatriates, only to soon become popular among the locals as well.
In the 1950s, the NEPA (Nigerian Football Pools Association) was formed to regulate betting among the residents, and it became a major force in sports and social life.
With the 1990s came the sports lottery, a new form of sports betting. It was run by private companies, offered higher payouts, and was related to wagering on the outcome of the game. The first companies that emerged were Premier Lotto, Winners Golden Bet, NairaBET, and Bet9ja.
Today, sports betting is thriving in the country, and according to betting guides and reviews in the country, online betting in Nigeria is also gaining momentum, with various promo codes, bonuses, and other great benefits for bettors. This is all partly thanks to the passion residents have for sports, and partly to the rise of mobile and digital tech in the region.
However, when it comes to online betting, it is important to pay attention to the reliability of the betting provider to avoid scams.
How to Choose a Reliable Sports Betting Website?
When choosing an online sports bookie, it’s important to pay attention to certain details, like:
- Bonuses and promotions;
- Security measures.
When it comes to Nigeria, for a sports bookie to be legal, it’s important to hold a relevant license. Currently, there are three licensing bodies in the country – National Lottery Regulatory Commission, the Lagos State Lottery Board, and the Oyo State Gaming Board. Any provider licensed by these three bodies is eligible to offer betting services to residents.
Always make sure to check user recommendations when it comes to different providers. Look for their comments on user experience, check out relevant forum groups, ask friends, consult online guides and review sites, and similar. It’s always best to stick with a provider that has been on the market for many years and has built a solid relationship with players.
Bonuses and Promotions
Nowadays, bonuses and promotions are among the key factors when choosing the best sports betting option. You should look for higher deposit limits, reward points, discounts, VIP promotions, welcome bonuses, and similar.
Last but not least, one of the most important things when it comes to selecting a reliable betting provider is checking what security measures they have when it comes to handling your data. Check whether the provider you are considering is using known encryption methods and tools. This way, you will be sure your data is not going into the wrong hands.
People in Nigeria have two passions – sports and sports betting. However, to safely and successfully blend the two and choose a good online betting provider, they need to inform themselves thoroughly.