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History of Gambling in Nigeria and Its Future Trends

Posted by Thandiubani on Thu 11th Jul, 2024 - tori.ng

In this text, we will talk more about the origins of gambling in the country, how the industry started, and where it has progressed.

Nigeria is famous for its unique cultural heritage, and gambling is no less important in it. This sphere began to develop rapidly long ago, and in the 20th century, it already experienced a string of events that led to success. In this text, we will talk more about the origins of gambling in the country, how the industry started, and where it has progressed. In addition, we will consider what laws contribute to the development of this business. Our team also describes future trends in the gambling sector and what should be improved in the system.

The Emergence of Gambling in Nigeria

Gambling has always been present in Nigeria, just in different forms. This type of hobby was meant to develop people socially, educationally, and spiritually, such as dice and prediction-based entertainment. In addition, ritual games were also part of certain ceremonies, weddings, or funerals. Some games also used special objects such as seeds, stones, wooden boards, or other naturally occurring things. Among the ancient games are Ayo, Nzugbo, Okonto, and Danko. These games combine not only skills but also social interaction, along with significant cultural significance.

The Influence of Colonisers

When British colonisers came to the country in the late 19th century, gambling opportunities increased. Depending on how the British system expanded, new forms of gambling were gradually introduced. Thus, the local population discovered traditional lotteries, card games, and horse racing. In addition, this period is known as the first attempt to regulate gambling in the country. This period was marked by the emergence of official regulations on games, taxation, and control over this industry. This is how gambling in Nigeria became commercialised.

What Happened to the Industry After the Country Gained Independence?

Nigeria gained its independence in 1960, which marked the beginning of a new chapter for wagering. In 1965, there was a law on taxation on the net income of companies providing betting services, while the games themselves were not regulated.
Many years later, in 1990, the government introduced the Nigerian Criminal Code, which also applied to games of chance. The main provisions included the prohibition of such activities in public places like parks, streets, and many others, organising illegal gambling events, and unlicensed lotteries. Subsequently, this law led to a significant breakthrough in the industry, which we will discuss in more detail below.

How did Events Develop Further in Nigeria?

In 2005, there was a National Lottery Act, where Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code Act, adopted before the 21st century, divided gambling into legal and illegal. The list of legal activities includes lotteries, land-based casinos, and sports betting. However, illegal activities in the country consist of roulette, dice games, and unlicensed card deck games. It's worth clarifying that this law does not mention online gambling, probably because this sphere wasn't so developed at the time. Nevertheless, the document states that the minimum age for gambling is 18 years. In 2011, Nigeria also extended its anti-money laundering law, which is extremely crucial.

The Current Situation with Online Casinos

Currently, Nigeria is witnessing the rapid development of casino sites including the popular Rollino Casino Site, which the Nigerian Lottery Commission must license. Previously adopted laws don't prohibit such activities. The main rule is that online companies must adhere to the same established policies as land-based casinos. The largest gambling facilities are located in major cities such as Lagos and Abuja. According to a survey conducted in 2021 and presented on the Statista platform, more than 78% of respondents from Nigeria claimed to have tried gambling at least once. Considering the rapid growth, technological development, and popularity of this hobby, it can be guaranteed that this data has increased.

Future Trends

The future of gambling in Nigeria depends on effective regulation, technological development, and social responsibility. As the Nigerian market continues to grow, so does the number of consumers. For this reason, the country should consider developing a self-restriction programme similar to the one that already exists in the UK. After all, there are always risks of gambling addiction, so it's necessary to support the public with any educational programmes. In addition, considering the growing craze for online gambling, the percentage of mobile platforms will also increase. It would be nice if the government would dive deeper into cryptocurrencies and add transparency to their use in the country. Blockchain technology has the potential to change the world of online deposits in Nigeria and take them to a whole new level.

Final Thoughts

The gambling industry in Nigeria is filled with a lot of history, change, and empowerment. For the locals, their news about games of chance is a reflection of cultural traditions as well as an opportunity to improve social and economic conditions. In this country, casinos are based on a fully legal basis and have many opportunities for future development.

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