Online gambling’s impact on Nigerian GDP

Nigeria is Africa’s economic powerhouse, and the continent’s financial health is heavily reliant on its actions. The country’s economy has grown substantially in recent years, averaging 7% annually.

With an estimated 60 million Nigerians regularly betting on sports, it’s no surprise that the gambling industry sees Nigeria as the continent’s biggest online betting market.

Gambling is both allowed and banned in Nigeria. Many feel that new regulations are needed due to lax regulation and enforcement of existing rules. With the exception of the National Lottery Act of 2005, all regulations pertaining to land-based gaming should theoretically apply to internet wagering. However, Nigerians have been gambling at offshore internet casinos for decades without fear of persecution.

Revenues

The offline sports betting and gambling sector in Nigeria has been growing steadily for years. However, the digital version has just emerged in the last decade owing to population expansion, broad internet access, and inexpensive cellphones, tablets, and laptops. For the same reasons, experts predict that online gambling income will rise in most nations in the next years, resulting in new employment and tax money for public health and education.

Based on Nigeria’s large football culture, with leagues like the Spanish La Liga and the English Premiership having millions of supporters, a BtoBet study from September 2020 highlights sports betting as a vital business.

PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated in 2018 that Nigeria had the second-largest online betting market in Africa, with $58 million in gross gaming revenues.

South Africa is the continent’s largest market, with a $2 billion gaming business and 54% internet penetration. It is officially banned in South Africa, although firms may provide internet betting services if licensed locally. Regardless of international certification, operators in Nigeria must get local authorisation to operate.

Sports betting is estimated to cost the Nigerian populace $5,5 million each day, with an average stake of $7-$8. Some estimate the yearly betting turnover at $1.9-$2 billion. With approximately 36.6 million accounts at UKGC-licensed sites, the UK’s gross gambling yield (GGY) reached $19 billion in 2018.

Online poker and casino games alone generated $402 million in the US in April, May, and June 2020, a record. From 2020 to 2025, the US online gaming industry is expected to develop at a CAGR of 15.41 percent.

PwC expects that Nigeria’s gross gaming revenues would rise by 16% until 2023, and then by substantially more. The federal rate is 20% of all gross gaming income, and it applies to both land-based and online gambling. In Lagos, it is 2.5%. The state chooses where the monies go. No information is publicly accessible on which programs or budgets these funds go to, or who benefits.

Jobs

Gambling, without a doubt, produces employment. The American Gaming Association estimates that over 1,000 casinos in 40 states directly employ over 750,000 people. Las Vegas alone employs almost 400,000 people in gambling. Macau has a population of 631,000, and about 10% of Macau citizens work in the gaming business.

These figures do not include employment in the hotel and tourism industries, both of which gain greatly from gambling. If we include the indirectly produced jobs, the figures more than double.

On the digital side, operators recruit local talent with programming, design, hardware, and computer networking capabilities. Furthermore, gaming websites need 24/7 customer support, therefore operators hire non-technical employees to help customers with any concerns. Digital marketing experts are also needed. Their role is to use social media to persuade gamers to sign up and wager.

Sadly, Nigeria only has three land-based casinos and a few reliable sports betting sites, thus gaming career opportunities are limited.

SOCIAL IMP

A 2017 survey indicated that 36% of adult respondents enjoy to gamble, and over half of them do it daily. Even though the sport is now more widely acknowledged, some claim it might induce mental health issues and drug abuse. Illegal betting, particularly on sports events, is popular in the nation. The scope of this crime is unclear and needs more investigation.

On the other hand, the young unemployment rate was 14% in 2020. A research in Lagos State found that young people like gaming. They see it as a chance to supplement their daily income and pay their expenses.

We know of no Gamblers Anonymous-style meetings in Nigeria, and no problem gambling treatment institutions. Both the general population and healthcare experts are unaware of these issues. Problem gambling affects between 1% and 8% of gamers, with many going misdiagnosed and untreated. However, international gaming hotlines and support websites exist.

Conclusion

People don’t usually think of Nigeria when they think about gaming. Nonetheless, its industry is rapidly expanding, and its populace enjoys it. Sports betting is the most popular, with over 70% of young people claiming to be fans, and the typical Nigerian gambler spending over $15 per day. Online gambling has recently become popular owing to the low cost of new technology and internet connectivity. However, new laws are required to make gambling more lucrative for the nation and maximize tax advantages while enabling operators to generate new employment.

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