Are you from Nigeria and wish to know what current online gambling laws and legislation apply to you? Read on to find out whether or not Nigerian residents can bet online at online casino websites for real money legally, and which regulated and safe casino sites are recommended for you to play at.
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Online casino and gambling laws in Nigeria
The 1999 Criminal Code Act includes a gambling provision which bans all forms of non-skill based games, including roulette, certain card games, and any games where the chances were heavily stacked against the player. The laws were created to punish both operators and players, although historically it has only been operators of illegal gambling games that have been prosecuted.
The law allows lottery games, sports betting, and certain casino games, which has of course led to the opening of three land-based casinos throughout the country. However, it is illegal to import or own slot machines outside of the casino, which ensures that independently own sports bookmakers don’t house them on their property.
The government jumped in to enact these laws due to the sheer size and power of the underground industry, in which gangs and large criminal organisations were exploiting poor minorities by encouraging them to make bets with astronomical odds. The job to stamp out underground gambling has been somewhat successful, even if it still exists in a rather large capacity throughout the country. The reality for Nigerians is that they can now either gamble in many of the state-owned and run operators, or gamble at a number of regulated and safe international casinos, most of which have European gambling licenses and will access Nigerian players.
Can you gamble online from Nigeria?
If you want to place some bets or get involved in the lottery, there are a number of legalised and domestic services available to Nigerian players. These are all completely legalised and regulated by the government. If you want to play casino games online, you can visit foreign casino sites that service Nigerian players. The good thing about this is that should players have any issues with the casino, they can contact the European regulator and challenge their claim. If they were to visit an underground casino in Nigeria, they wouldn’t have access to such services.
This is why it’s important to visit and play at legal Nigerian operators, or foreign casinos that welcome Nigerian players, and are regulated by reputable and respected gambling authorities.
Best Nigerian casino sites
Guts: Guts is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. It accepts Nigerian players There is also a 100% welcome bonus for every Nigerian player that signs up, as well as 100 free spins across a slot game of their choice.
Thrills: Thrills accepts Nigerian players and offers each one that signs up a $400 welcome bonus.
Slots Million: Slots Million offers 24/7 support to Nigerian players. It is one of the most trusted and respected online casinos. It offers players more than 1000 slots, as well as many different variations of poker, roulette and blackjack. German players can sign up today to receive a 100% sign-up bonus up to $100.
GDay Casino: GDay Casino is one of the best online casinos for Nigerian players offering an unlimited welcome bonus for all that sign up.
NGN deposit option for online Nigerian gamblers
The Nigerian Naira (NGN) can be easily deposited and exchanged for a number of a different currencies, including US, GBP, Euro, and AUD. These are the most popular deposit options available at all of our recommended online casino sites:
- Bank transfers – Citadel Direct, direct bank wires
- Credit & debit cards – Visa, MasterCard, Entropay virtual Visa
- Pre-paid cards – Paysafecard, Flexepin
- Web wallets – Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz
Overview of gambling in Nigeria
Gambling in Nigeria generally overs three different forms of betting: sports betting, lottery games, and specific types of skill-based casino games. The government has worked to reduce the number of underground gambling casinos and betting agencies, formulating a plan that would put most if not all forms of gambling under state control. This led to a sudden rise in regulated gambling outlets throughout the country in the early 1990s. Recent years have also seen the introduction of online lottery games, making it easier for Nigerians to gamble online through legitimate means.
There are daily and weekly lotto draws throughout Nigeria, with jackpots often reaching the millions. Players also have access to a wide variety of scratchies. Land-based casinos, of which there are three across Lagos and Abuja, are generally 24/7 and offer a wide variety of skill-based casino games. Online gambling is becoming increasingly popular, with regulated, on-shore gambling sites generally offering sports betting and lotto, while offshore online casino websites, which Nigerian gamblers can access, offering a wide variety of casino games not otherwise available at land-based casinos throughout the country.
Nigeria did dabble in the world of online casinos briefly in 2013 with the launch of NairaGames Casino. It shut down shortly after, however, bringing the gambling scene crashing down for players looking to visit online casinos based in their own country. Thankfully, the gates are still open to visit international sites, many of the ones we recommend on this page gladly welcoming Nigerian players.