Gaming in Nigeria has gone through many changes throughout the years in terms of the laws that surround the practice, but at the time of writing, Nigerian gaming enthusiasts have plenty of Nigeria-licensed casinos to pick from, both when it comes to traditional gaming at physical locations, and remote gambling.
Interestingly, online gaming in Nigeria is somewhat of a grey area. Although remote gambling is not officially recognized by Nigerian legislation on a national level, online operators can apply for and be granted a gambling permit by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. There are certain states like Lagos, however, where online gambling is officially legalised and regulated, which means that it can vary from state to state. In either case, the remote gaming landscape in Nigeria is, as a whole, quite promising.
Best Casinos in Nigeria
Nigeria is a country with quite a lot of potential when it comes to gambling, which is why many casinos cater to Nigerian gamblers. If you are torn on which casino to go with, the following options offer an excellent gaming experience.
Best Casino Bonuses in Nigeria
Internationally, there is no shortage of casinos that offer fantastic bonuses to their users, and casinos that cater to a Nigerian audience also tend to be generous promotions-wise.
The types of available bonuses can vary quite a lot, and the same can be said about the conditions and requirements attached to each promotion. To avoid unpleasant surprises, take care to carefully read through a casino’s bonus-specific Terms and Conditions before you opt-in.
More often than not, players who start out at a given casino have the opportunity to take advantage of this type of promotional offer, as it often plays the role of the casino’s Welcome Offer. A deposit bonus is a promotion where you receive bonus funds for making your first deposit. How much funds you get depends on the given promotion’s conditions and the size of your deposit. A deposit bonus may also come in the form of a reload bonus, which functions much the same, but for deposits that you make on a regular basis.
Free games are basically free spins reserved for specific slot games. Whether they are part of a Welcome Promotion, a VIP Program, or daily or weekly bonuses, free spins are well-liked among players, and casinos tend to offer such promotions relatively often.
This is a bonus typically reserved for a casino’s regulars. Cashback typically involves getting a portion of one’s losses refunded when it comes to given bets or wagers, and these bonuses are also given out as part of Loyalty Programs and other types of recurring promotions.
These types of bonuses are relatively straightforward since they involve inviting a friend to join a casino you frequent. Once they create an account by following the casino’s instructions on how to claim this bonus, both of you will receive rewards, which can range from free spins to cash bonuses. The instructions and requirements surrounding such bonuses will differ depending on the casino, so both you and your acquaintance must take the time to become familiar with the said conditions.
Casino Regulation in Nigeria
The year 2005 saw the passing of the National Lottery Act of Nigeria, which is the main Nigerian legislation that regulates gaming in the country on a national scale. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission was also established that year, and it is responsible for overseeing gambling related activities within Nigeria. In addition, the commission is the body that can issue licences to casinos and bookmakers that wish to operate in the country. Both land-based establishments and remote gaming websites alike can become licensed, and when necessary, the NLRC has the authority to revoke the permit or licence of a given gambling operator.
At the time of writing, there are several types of licences and permits operators can apply for depending on the gaming products they offer and whether said products are within brick-and-mortar casinos or offered on the world wide web.
Licensing of Remote Gaming
The first type of permit we will cover is reserved for casinos that operate online. This is the Remote Operator Permit, which, when granted, allows operators to offer Nigeria-based players the opportunity to play games of chance, such as slots, poker, bingo, and casino games. Moreover, gambling websites that focus on sports betting are also eligible for such a permit.
There are requirements a casino or sportsbook needs to meet in order to acquire and retain a permit, and this includes having a Nigeria-specific URL and storing user funds in segregated accounts, separate from the company’s funds. The provider must adhere to the taxation requirements of Nigeria and pay the fees associated with running the gaming-oriented operation. The said fees are $100,000 for a casino’s first year of operation. After one year has passed, the annual fee for renewing a permit is $50,000.
Failure to comply with the licence conditions and Nigerian legislation results in an operator’s licence being revoked and, potentially, the inclusion of the said operator in the commission’s Remote Operator Blacklist. Blacklisting renders a casino or sportsbook ineligible to ever reapply for a permit, and this measure is taken when an operator has committed an exceptionally serious offence.
Licensing Surrounding Lotteries, Sports Betting, and Mobile Gaming
The National Lottery Licence pertains to lottery-related operations. Eligible applicants must pay a licensing fee of ₦2,000,000. When an operator meets all of the requirements and obtains their licence, they must pay the ₦100,000,000 licensing fee. A National Lottery License is valid for 10 years.
Next, we have the Sports Betting Permit, which can be granted to sportsbooks and bookmakers. The application fee here is ₦2,000,000, while the overall fee for a five-year permit is ₦100,000,000. For an operator to qualify for a permit, their share capital must not be lower than ₦30,000,000. Moreover, it must be registered with Nigeria’s Ministry of Trade and the SCUML. In order to retain its permit, 1% of the given operator’s monthly sales turnover must be paid to the NLRC, while 2% of the monthly sales turnover must go to the National Lottery Trust Fund.
It should also be noted that there is a separate form of licensing for mobile gaming, regardless of whether it relates to lotteries, games of chance, or sports betting operations. For a provider to remain a holder of such a permit, they must be connected to the NLRC transaction reporting and monitoring platform, pay the annual fees associated with the permit, pay 2% of the operator’s gross monthly proceeds to the NLRC, and 3% of the gross proceeds to the NLTF. The application fee for such a permit is, once again, ₦2,000,000, with a yearly payment of ₦5,000,000.
Apart from national laws, gaming in Nigeria is also regulated on a state-by-state basis, as different locations have implemented their own gambling laws. In Lagos, for instance, the Lagos State Lotteries Amended Law of 2008 is what dictates the legality of games of chance and sports betting. Moreover, the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority is the state’s gaming regulatory body. The LSLGA has the authority to issue licences to eligible providers that offer casino games, sports betting, lotteries, and online betting to a Lagos audience. It also makes sure that licence-holders comply with the requirements and regulations outlined in the Lagos State Lotteries Amended Law.
Another instance of state-level regulation is Anambra, where the Anambra State Gaming Company regulates gaming operations that take place within the state’s borders. The Anambra State Gaming Law was first introduced in 2005, and its 2019 amendment led to remote gaming being officially regulated in Anambra.
Is gambling legal in Nigeria?
Gaming in Nigeria is regulated under the National Lottery Act. Operators of gambling establishments or gaming websites can legally offer Nigerians games of chance and sports betting, so long as they are licensed by the NLRC. Certain states have their own legislation and licensing procedures when it comes to gambling.
What type of payment solutions can Nigerian gamblers use at online casinos?
Players who live in Nigeria have access to plenty of banking methods. This includes bank cards like Visa, digital wallets such as Skrill, and prepaid solutions such as Paysafecard. Another choice, supported by Nigeria-friendly casinos, is the usage of cryptocurrencies.
Is mobile gambling possible in Nigeria?
Yes, there is a licensing procedure for mobile-oriented casinos, and gaming enthusiasts in Nigeria can wager on the go. Nigerian players can typically download a separate app of their casino, or simply play on the casino’s smartphone website. Mobile sports betting is popular as well.
What is the legal age for gambling in Nigeria?
Nigerian residents need to be at least 18 years old if they wish to wager legally. Individuals who are younger than 18 are prohibited from gambling.
Can Nigerians play on offshore casino websites legally?
At the time of writing, the National Lottery Act does not explicitly mention online gaming, nor is offshore gaming defined. Although the NLRG grants permits to offshore casinos, there are currently no regulations that prosecute Nigerian individuals for gambling at non-licensed remote casinos.