February 16, 2024 2 min read


Nigeria Lawmakers Consider Stopping Sports Betting

The urgent action comes at a time when nearly 30% of the country's population wagers $975 million on sports daily

Over the last decade, the popularity of sports betting has grown exponentially. Besides North America, the activity is picking up speed in South America, Europe, as well as Asia and Africa. Currently, Nigeria has a population of 227.1 million people, and more than a quarter participates in wagering on sports daily.

Data released by the country’s National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) uncovers a worrying statistic that more than 65 million Nigerians engage in sports betting on a daily basis. The Fund estimated that on average, each of the bettors spends $15 on sports. This paints a concerning picture where nearly $1 billion is wagered on sports on a daily basis.

Considering the number of people who engage in betting with an approximate wager of $15 daily, this makes an estimated $975 million in sports wagers daily, the data released by NLTF reveals. Annually, wagers hit a mind-blowing $356 billion. But it’s not only the annual figure but the daily one as well that raises the alarm about the potential negative impact of excessive gambling.

The estimated 65 million people who engage in wagering represent approximately 28.6% of the total population of the country. This trend pushed Nigerian lawmakers into considering radical changes, with the country’s House of Representatives asking the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to halt sports betting.

Excessive Gambling Results in a Number of Issues

Recently, during a plenary meeting in Abuja, Rep. Kelechi Nwogu warned about the potential issues related to excessive sports betting. He revealed that excessive gambling can lead to addiction, depression, anxiety, as well as serious mental health problems and in some cases even suicide.

Nwogu spoke about sports betting saying that the exponential growth of the activity in Nigeria due to insufficient regulations may pose a risk for the mental health and wellbeing of Nigerians. He said: “Betting has given rise to increased crime rate and eventual suicide,” urging for effective regulation that can prevent underage individuals from participating in gambling activities such as lottery.

The concerning NLTF data about the participation of Nigerians in sports betting is likely going to pave the way for drastic changes to the sector. The country also anticipates raising awareness about the dangers of excessive and underage gambling.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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