Sports like cricket, football, athletics, and basketball are popular in South Africa, especially in Nigeria. Nigerians have proven that they can produce some of the best athletes in numerous sports events. There are the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, Peter Odemwingie, Teslim “Thunder” Balogun, and Dick Tiger.

With the popularity of sports in the country also comes the passionate fans who enjoy sports betting. Some simply enjoy this gambling activity and would place bets on numerous sports events. Today, thanks to the internet, Nigerians can easily place their bets online or on sites listed on

In 2020, it was estimated that over 60 million Nigerians aged 18 to 40 would place bets each year. In that particular year, a report was released that these people spent over 730 billion Naira or over 100 million USD on sports betting.

Why Nigerians Enjoy Sports Betting

Well, even outside Nigeria, sports and gambling just really go well together. Sports events are already exciting enough, but fans would always try to find ways to make events more thrilling. This is what sports betting could give.

A Nigerian punter named Segun Mukoro once talked to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) about why he’s been placing sports bets. Mukoro said, “I bet and I do so weekly, especially when there is a league playing. When you have been betting for a long time, it’s easier to know what odds to play and what teams to bet on.

“It is a guessing game and you get better with time. I know that it is addictive but I see it as an investment, a way to double my income.”

Other respondents also mainly pointed out that betting is a great way for them to earn more money in a fun and quick way. They simply want to turn their passion for sports like football into something that could give them profits.

Meanwhile, a betting shop attendant named Niyi Adejujagbe also shared his experience on the receiving side of the betting industry. Adejujagbe said, “People place bets here every day. They still use shops very well because some don’t know how to use the websites and other people like to see their paper bet slips.”

He also said that he would get at least 500 bets from different punters daily and that a crowd of punters would be in the shop as early as 9 in the morning.

Based on research, around 77% of betting Nigerians have said that betting and gambling are common activities in their communities. Most of them are from South-West geopolitics and account for 95% of the betting population.

Around 55% of the betting population in Nigeria said that they place bets every day and 63% said that they do so at least once or twice a month. The rest said that they don’t place bets, which is a really small percentage.

That said, Nigeria has a really big betting population and this is why it’s not surprising that many betting operators have already penetrated the Nigerian betting market.

A big contributor to why many Nigerians rely on sports betting and gambling activities when it comes to earning money is the country’s unemployment rate which is already at 35% last year. It’s also a big help that the majority of the locals are now online.

People don’t even need to have a PC or laptop to place their bets. They only need a capable mobile device, and they’re good to go.

Despite the high number of punters in Nigeria, the majority believe that sports betting or gambling is a harmless pastime. This is most likely why a big percentage of the betting population here would place bets on a daily basis.


The sports betting industry will likely continue to prosper in Nigeria. After all, gambling is legal in the country. Lottery, land-based casinos, and sports betting are legal and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) has also been active in ensuring that betting companies are licensed to operate in the country.

Today, some of the most popular betting sites in Nigeria are 888Sport, Betway, 1xBet, Paripesa, Sportaza, Marathon Bet, Double Bet, Cyber Bet, Cloud Bet, 1 Bet, and Libra Bet. Over 30 sports betting sites are also now licensed to operate in the country.

When it comes to which sports are popularly wagered on by the local punters, Football is king. This is followed by other sports like basketball, rugby, boxing, cricket, track and field, and tennis.

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