Nigerian and South African Gambling Markets: Key Problems and Prospects

Submitted on May 28, 21

Perhaps, you’ve heard the NairaBet computer version. This is a product from NairaBet, one of the leading online bookmakers in Nigeria. While NaijaBet controls the market in Sub-Saharan Africa, Bet2Win holds sway in the gambling industry in South Africa.

Nigeria and South Africa are approximately the two biggest gambling hubs in Africa region. While punters have a wide range of betting options, marketlines, paylines, and sportsbooks to opt for, there are also challenges for the operator and the player.

While in Nigeria gambling is regulated by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, its South African counterpart regulates through the National Gambling Commission.


Lack of enforcement

The gambling industry’s dependency on the internet coupled with a low level of technological development in Africa, enforcing gambling laws has been very poor. Since many of the young population has gone into gambling due to lack of gainful employment, law enforcement has become whittled down.

Underage gambling

Deepened underage gambling is a big issue that’s not exclusive to the South African or Nigerian gambling markets. However, social crises that result from unemployment, lack of education, increased number of dropouts and out-of-school children, cause a lot of vibrant young children to go into gambling.

Low level of Compliance

There is also a low level of compliance with extant gambling laws. This challenge is a natural consequence of poor law enforcement. Some of the sportsbooks do not have control over responsible betting due to a lack of accurate data.

Market proliferation

As the market gains traction, there is a higher chance that illegal bookies and casinos will increase. This is a no-brainer, especially in a largely under-regulated industry. The rise of many unregulated sportsbooks and online betting platforms is a major concern in the industry. These unregistered bookies will either don’t pay out winnings or operate scam platforms and websites.


Increased Economy

The gambling industry is a massive cash cow to many countries in the world. Recent stats show that NairaBet reported an average annual turnover of between $3m-$5m. The Nigeria economy can generate over $20million from the gambling industry and bookmakers, including Bet2Win. This is a massive market for the African giants.

Increased opportunities for operators

The truth is that an increase in the number of internet subscribers will naturally cause an increase in the number of casino and sports bettors. This could lead to partnerships, mergers and acquisitions in the long run and so translate to more income for the bookies.

Foreign Direct Investments

Another prospect the future holds for the gambling market in Africa is the increase in the number of foreign direct investments (FDIs). For instance, foreign technology firms and telecommunication service providers will increase opportunities by investing in local leagues and other areas of the industry. Partnering with local-based companies that can deliver value will increase industry participation and sustainability.

Improved sponsorships and deals

The gambling industry in Nigeria and South Africa also holds a great future for itself given that a change in punters behaviour could lead to millions of sponsorships and deals. For instance, Bet9ja in partnership with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) signed a deal to sponsor the second tier of the Nigeria top-flight football championship, the Nigerian National League. In another context, South Africa Football Association (SAFA) is in strong multi-million partnerships, sponsorships, and deals with the likes of Nike, Ernst and Young (EY), South Africa Airways (SAA), and Multichoice.