Digital sports betting in Nigeria started less than two decades ago. Before the introduction of online sports betting using computers and the internet, we had pool betting in Nigeria. The pool betting business was imported into Nigeria several decades ago. Gamblers stake their money to predict the outcome of 49 predetermined matches. Their predictions were recorded on coupons by pools promoters who are licensed to operate pool betting in Nigeria.
The popular game of numbers popularly known as lotto games was also the real deal and is still relevant in the gaming industry to this day. The biggest among the number games company in Nigeria is Premier lotto, popularly known as Baba Ijebu. The nickname originated from the birthplace of the founder/ owner of the company. Lotto is basically about predicting a sub-set of numbers that will be part of the set of numbers released as result of each draw.
In Nigeria, Akin Alabi who is the founder of the first online betting company in Nigeria Naira bet is considered to be the pioneer of online betting in Nigeria. He was into information marketing and was getting requests from people that wanted to make payments online. Among does that request for him to help them with payments are does that wanted to credit their online account with foreign betting companies. Akin’s entrepreneurial instinct kicked in and then he discovered that there is a ready-made market for sports betting in Nigeria. Upon his visit to the United Kingdom, he visited a betting shop and got inspiration on how sports betting works. He later founded Nairabet officially in 2009.
After Nirabet then came the emergence of several sports betting companies that came, saw, and conquered while some others came and could not withstand the test of time and have closed down their business. Several factors are responsible for a sports betting business closing down in Nigeria, I will share this in one of my gaming industry posts. The likes of Stakersden, Betcolony, Eaglesbet, Surebet247, and a very long list of others have closed down. Some others like 1960bet, Bet9ja, Sportybet, Merrybet are still around but Bet9ja is the leader of the industry for now. Some others that came into the industry much later and are thriving include Accessbet, Betking, Betbonanza…etc. Betking is the fastest growing sports betting company in Nigeria, their partnership with Multichoice has helped them become a strong brand in Nigeria; they also have a strong presence in several African countries.
The gaming industry in Nigeria is made up of retail and online;
Retail: Retail is the brick-and-mortar arm of sports betting. It means that you need a shop where customers can come to place bets on sports betting and virtual games. In retail shops, customers give their betting predictions and stake to a cashier who in return gives them a coupon/ bet slip that states all their predictions and it will be used to claim their prize if they get all the predictions right.
Online: Online sports betting involves customers who register directly on the website of the sports betting company, make deposits, place bets, and make withdrawals when they win. This set of customers can be referred to the company through an affiliate who posts the company banners on their websites with an affiliate link; the affiliates get commissions for customers they refer.
To be continued…. Part 2 coming soon, WATCH OUT!