The sports betting business in Nigeria is increasingly shifting from regular physical stores to online platforms as players seek more convenience.

This trend is fueled by the increased adoption and capabilities of mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, notepads and high-speed internet devices in Africa’s largest economy.

Online-gambling.com, a betting marketplace platform, estimated that more than 60 million Nigerians participate in sports betting and the number is growing rapidly.

However, a survey by BusinessDay shows that six out of 10 Nigerians who visit brick-and-mortar malls to play sports betting have their online platforms registered where they mainly play.

”Many people who are enlightened now conduct their gambling businesses online except for a few who may have their own personal reasons. Many of those who go to physical stores have their own registered platform where they finance and play. You can be more comfortable playing wherever you are with fewer charges. Although some banks charge like 100 fees, mobile banks like PalmPay, Opay and others do not ask for fees and many people prefer to use them,” said Emma Onyema, manager of Bet9ja store located in Ikotun.

According to him, most of the clients who opened their account online with his center always come to fund their account through them, adding that the advantages and disadvantages are there as well.

Also read: It’s time to rein in the sports betting giant

“The fact is that having an online account gives you access to privacy and fewer fees, but the problem is that it’s addictive. You are playing with an online gambling account linked to your bank where you can deposit funds anywhere, anytime. Most people don’t get savings back because of this because there’s always the hope that you’ll recoup your loss, but in the process, you can empty your account without gaining anything,” he added.

Among other betting platforms in Nigeria, sports betting remains the most prominent due to the love for soccer of millions of Nigerians.

A Research and Markets report valued the Nigerian sports betting industry at $2 billion and growing. This growth is fueled by the emergence of online and mobile sports betting.

For Gordian Ejims, a betting shop manager in Imo State, bankroll regulation and integrity is a major factor driving online sports betting.

“Most of the time, people look at those who always go to physical stores to bet as scalpers or label them as irresponsible. a person of great reputation in society who comes to play gambling in a store will be difficult because he will not like people who value him to see him in such an act. It is safer to protect your image by playing online than going offline.

“Revenue management is another factor. Once you’re in an offline store, you’re likely to pay more and go over the money you have available, even to the point of playing on credit, but once you’re online, you’re only limited to the amount you deposited into your account. It helps regulate the funds,” Ejims said.

According to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, there are at least 50 gambling sites in Nigeria, with the number growing annually and online gaming is expected to grow to a global industry worth $93 billion by 2023. , according to research.

A few years ago when sports betting was introduced in Nigeria, it started more offline, where people go to betting centers, copy the code and names of the football clubs and teams they play. After that, they go to the counter where attendees insert the code into their mobile device and print it out to them.

However, the mass adoption of mobile devices has now made it easier for many to select their online games and place the amount to bet online or go to the stores to print.

TechNavio, an online gaming data platform, estimated that the online gaming market share is expected to increase by $46.59 billion from 2021 to 2026. The platform claimed that the growing popularity of esports is remarkably driving the growth of the online gaming market.

Meanwhile, NOI survey analysis research shows that Nigerians spend more than N730 billion annually on sports betting and at least N2 billion is generated daily.

The report also revealed that the estimated 60 million Nigerian punters spend more than N3,000 bets daily.