Most of the forms of gambling and betting are illegal in Nigeria. It might be known as the biggest economy of Africa and the 12th largest petroleum producer in the world.
However, it is also quite popular for its affinity for gambling which mainly includes pools and sports betting, lotteries, and land-based casino games. As a matter of fact, the gambling market of Nigeria is to exceed $60 million by the end of this year.
However, it should be noted that Nigeria has only 3 regulated and licensed casinos in comparison to the other 9 provinces of South Africa. It still comes under the Criminal Code Act and also the Gaming Machines Act.
Neither of these allows casino gambling that is increasing with new entries into the market. That being said, there aren’t any laws that can prevent the people of Nigeria to visit casinos that are owned or operated by offshore companies. Gaming and betting sites can accept them.
Types of Gambling Allowed in Nigeria
There are mainly 3 kinds of gambling allowed in Nigeria, pools and betting, land casinos, and lotteries.
➧ Betting and Pools
As per the Criminal Code Act, casinos will be able to pools and betting in Nigeria when it is the only game that is available at the venue.
Additionally, the operators of betting and pool facilities should have an approved totalizator for placing bets and divide winnings among the respective pool winners equally.
The operators in Nigeria have to register the operations with the Nigerian Government to make sure that it is legal.
The lottery is open to the public which involves the sale of papers or tickets with numbers are drawn from the game which will give the name of the winner.
Tickets for this are sold by the operator to the Nigerian public directly for fundraising and charitable purpose. When anyone is caught and then convicted of trying to sell lottery tickets to a third party, it might lead to 6 months of jail time or a fine of 100 Naira.
The lotteries are usually licensed by Lagos State Lotteries Board. The board oversees and regulates the firms operating lotteries and competitions, promotions, games of chance, and other lotto games.
➧ Land Casinos
There are only 3 government regulated land casinos in Nigeria, the Federal Palace Casino, Transcorp Hilton, and Le Meridien Eko Casino.
These are open to foreigners, as well as local people. However, these are smaller than the Western casinos that are to be found in the UK and other parts of the world.
The games that are permitted by these land casinos are Casino Hold’em, Roulette, Blackjack, and also, irrespective of the Criminal Code Act prohibiting the game of chance. Slot machines are an exception in licensed Nigerian casinos.
Gambling License of Nigeria
Casinos can apply for a gambling license in Nigeria. However, the application process is pretty long and complicated. This is the primary reason as to why only a few have been issued.
The Nigerian gambling scenario is quite different from that of the UK. The gaming legislation in the UK had been updated with the introduction of internet gambling which outlined restrictions on advertising and conducting offshore gambling services.
However, at present, there are many licensed casino sites that offer unrivaled gambling opportunities. 888 Casino is an example of one great online casino that adheres to all the gambling laws and regulations.
If an online casino has to operate in Nigeria, it has to be approved by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, Nigerian Investment Promotion, and the Special Control Unit.
Applicants also have to register for VAT and get a tax identification number from Capital Importation Certificate and Federal Inland Revenue Service. It is only during this time that the Nigerian gambling license is going to be considered carefully.
Even though Nigeria has a few regulated and licensed land-based casinos, online casinos aren’t allowed in Nigeria.
Tax for Gambling
The tax to gamble in Nigeria primarily depends on the state. There is no specified team to handle these concerns.
In Lagos, tax is quite systematic. However, in the other states, it is a part of the regular system. Also, there is no cooperation between the states.
In order to have responsible gambling in place, different states need to cooperate. This is something that doesn’t exist in Nigeria. It has to learn from the other regulated markets.
For instance, Denmark, UK, and Sweden, there are systems that will allow you to keep yourself from the casino operators.
As a matter of fact, the UK and other countries have special tests that will put a limitation on how you will be able to gamble.
Having the freedom to unwind playing a game on an online casino is a fun and euphoric experience. And such an adventure should be enjoyed by people from all over the world including Nigeria.
Even though sports betting is the only form allowed in Nigeria, it is just a matter of time before they legalize online casinos. But until then, players can register into Nigerian-friendly sports betting sites without the fear of being penalized.