Gambling Laws in Nigeria
Gambling in Nigeria is illegal under Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code Act and the Gaming Machines Act from 1977. However, some forms of gambling have been exempted from this prohibition through the issuance of separate acts either on a state level or on a federal level. Thus, the National Lottery Act 2005 and its amendments legalizes all lottery games in the country while other acts provide legal provisions for casino games. Beside lotto and casino games no other land-based games are legal in Nigeria on a federal level. On a state level however forms of legal online gambling in Nigeria can be found in the state of Lagos which has granted licenses to online betting companies which also offer some online casino games, as of December 2019.
Gambling in Nigeria is regulated on two levels: there are various regulatory commissions responsible for regulating gambling on a state level and there is also the federal National Lottery Regulatory Commission, which supervises the gambling sector on a federal level. According to Nigerian gambling laws, licenses for providing any of the legal gambling games in the country can be acquired by the respective authorities of each separate Nigerian state. Minors, under 18 years of age are prohibited to participate in gambling activities.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Nigeria?
No, online gambling is illegal in Nigeria. The only exception is online sports betting which has been made legal in the state of Lagos.
Online Casinos in Nigeria
Bet9ja, a Nigerian betting company, holding an online betting license from the Nigerian state of Lagos, is the largest operator offering online casinos in Nigeria. In compliance with the state gambling laws, Bet9ja offers a rich variety of online games on a sperate section of their betting platform, based on their betting license which include roulette, card games, as well as slot games. Foreign internet casino sites are blocked from targeting Nigerian citizens by the respective authorities.
Online Poker in Nigeria
Poker in Nigeria is a very popular pastime, with most of the casinos regularly offering attractive poker tournaments. Regarding online poker, however, there are no specific Nigerian online poker laws. There are also no specialized, licensed, online poker sites in Nigeria, as of November 2018. However, online poker can still be played on some of the foreign online casino sites accessible from the country.
Online lottery in Nigeria
The Nigerian lottery laws, are mainly composed by the National Lottery Act from 2005. As of November 2018, there are dozens of national lottery operators which hold special licenses for offering lotto products in different Nigerian states. Gbam lotto and the People Empowerment Lotto are some of the providers of the most popular lotto games in the country. Most of the games they offer are in the form of instant scratch cards. None of them has offered an online lottery in Nigeria, yet.
Online bingo in Nigeria
There are no specific Nigerian online bingo laws. Therefore, online bingo in Nigeria is considered to fall under the prohibition of the Criminal Code and is illegal. Thus, as of November 2018, there are no specialized sites for online bingo in Nigeria, either. Bingo rooms, licensed elsewhere, can easily be accessed from the country.
Online sports betting in Nigeria
Online sports betting in Nigeria is regulated with the National Lottery Act from 2005. The most popular online sportsbook site in Nigeria is the Bet9ja. The site is owned by the Gaming Networks Limited and is licensed by the Lagos State Lotteries Board, having thus a special permission to operate in the state. The betting offer they provide is pretty diverse, successfully managing to cover the increasing demands for sports betting in the country. Foreign internet sportsbook sites are actively being blocked by the authorities.
Online daily fantasy sports in Nigeria
Online DFS sites in Nigeria do not have a legally regulated status. Considering the legality of online sports betting in some states of the country it is very probable that internet Daily Fantasy Sports would soon receive a legal status in Nigeria.