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Sports Betting Regulated in Nigeria.

According to Match.Center NG, Nigeria has become one of the most competitive online sports betting markets in the world over the past few years. A recent study concluded that about 36% of Nigeria’s adult population gambles with about 53% of those people being daily gamblers. Most of these gamblers bet on sports.

Online betting was officially legalised in 2005  in Nigeria with the introduction of the National Lottery Act. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission is tasked with licensing betting companies that operate in the country. It’s important to understand that Nigerian-based operators are not permitted to offer casino games like roulette, blackjack, and dice games. However, land-based casinos are permitted to offer slot machines. With that said, there are no laws that prevent Nigerians from playing real-money casino games at foreign sites.

What Do Gambling Regulators Do?

Regulators oversee gambling within their jurisdictions. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission performs a variety of duties ranging from creating and enforcing rules to issuing licences and keeping a close eye on operators. They also have a responsibility to make sure bettors are protected and treated fairly. The NLRC has the authority to revoke operator licences if those companies don’t abide by the rules.

Dispute Resolution

Nigerian sports bettors who have a dispute with a Nigerian bookmaker can take their complaint to the NLRC who will then try to amicably resolve the situation. Unfortunately, the commission does not have authority outside of Nigeria. This limits the avenues for recourse if you have a dispute with a foreign operator.

Safe Gambling

One of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission’s key roles is promoting responsible gambling. It is estimated that as much as 8% of Nigerian gamblers are problem gamblers.

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Identity Verification

Almost all reputable bookmakers require customers to verify their age, identity, and place of residence. While some people see this as a payment delay tactic, it is actually required by the NLRC. This process helps prevent such things as underage gambling, money laundering, identity theft, and other fraudulent activity. And it’s quite simple. All you need to do is provide a copy of your driver’s licence, passport, or other government photo ID along with a utility bill or other document that bears your name and address.

However, the House of Representatives is currently proposing that Nigerian online betting sites should be required to also collect their customers’ National Identity Numbers. The main argument for this is strengthening proof of age requirements. No Nigerian sportsbook would be allowed to accept money or take bets from anyone who doesn’t provide their NIN. While this new rule is not on the books yet, it appears destined to pass.

Eliminating Rogue Bookmakers

Even though sports betting in Nigeria is regulated, the country is home to many illegal operators. The strictest gambling regulators in the world are the UKGC or MGA, and Nigeria still has a way to go in this direction.  This is why it is so important to only sign up at licensed online bookmakers. If a site isn’t licensed and regulated, it doesn’t have to adhere to the high industry standards. There is very little a punter can do if a rogue sportsbook absconds with their money or treats them unfairly. Always make sure that the Nigerian sports betting site you play at displays a valid licence from the NLRC. You can usually find it at the bottom of the site’s main page.

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How Do Nigerian Bookmakers Get a Licence?

Acquiring a gambling licence from the National Lottery Regulatory Commission involves a lot of time and money. The non-refundable application fee alone is ₦2,000,000 while the permit fee can cost up to ₦200,000,000. Then there is the ₦25,000,000 bank guarantee.

The commission goes to great lengths to ensure that successful applicants are reputable, have a solid business plan, and have a large cash reserve. Even when an applicant is issued a licence, the NLRC continues to keep close tabs on the business to ensure ongoing compliance.

Are Nigerian Sports Betting Sites Safe?

Provided you sign up at a licensed Nigerian bookmaker with a sound reputation, Nigerian sports betting sites are safe. They abide by the strict standards imposed on them by the NLRC which means Nigerians are treated fairly. Not only are these bookmakers legit, but they also offer some great features like live streaming as well as a variety of valuable bonuses and rewards. They offer competitive odds on a huge selection of sports and they make sure to pay you your winnings promptly.

If you are in the market for a new Nigerian bookmaker and a juicy welcome bonus, you can check out a platform like Match.Center Nigeria which has loads of expert reviews and other helpful information.

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