Did you know Nigeria is one of the biggest gaming markets in the entire African continent? However, its gaming laws seem to be a bit complicated. Lotteries, sports wagering and gaming arenas are very popular among Nigerians. The gaming industry in Nigeria is expected to go up to $60 million.
- The gaming laws and regulations in Nigeria
- Some gaming activities are legal while some are prohibited.
- There are gaming activities that are yet to be classified as legal or illegal.
Nigeria uses two main laws in gaming discussed below:
The Gaming Machines Prohibition Act of 1977
According to this Act, operating and owning gaming gadgets in Nigeria is illegal. Individuals apprehended breaking this law risk up to one year in jail if they’re found guilty. All earnings gained from running the illegal gaming machines will be taken by the authorities of Nigeria. So what is a gaming machine? It is any gaming tool or gadget operated using a coin or token and tempts people to game with an aim of winning cash.
The Nigerian Criminal Code Act
In this Act, any area or building used in illegal gaming is illegal. If an operator, manager, owner, or resident of an illegal gaming arena is arrested, he risks a huge fine and faces up to 2 years in jail if convicted.
Despite the gaming laws in Nigeria being complicated, there are kinds of gaming that are 100% legal. There are 3 gaming activities that are legal. They include land-based casinos, lotteries and sports wagering and pools.
- Brick and mortar casinos – Do you know that there are only three licensed physical casinos in Nigeria? All the gaming houses have sufficient gaming tools and interesting titles to keep players entertained for hours. All of them have huge collection of different slots and table games that most Nigerian punters love.
- Lotteries – Nigeria has only licensed public lotteries. Any person caught playing a intermediaries between the ticket purchasers and the public is committing a crime and risks a huge fine and up to 6 months in jail.
- Sports wagering and pools – The law states that, any space, building or area that offers authorized pool wagering company should not be used as a common wagering room apart from the licensed reason. Operators need to use pari-mutuel gadgets or totalizator to guarantee equality and fairness to players. They are also needed to hold a license from the government if they want to operate legally.
The statement from the lottery chief commission
According to Mr. U77Adolphus Ekpe, the commission of Nigeria Lottery Commission, sports wagering is legal and regulated in Nigeria. He says that sports betting in Nigeria would be gambling if it is not well regulated. The legal age for all people who want to participate in lottery and sports betting is 18 years.
The authorities in Nigeria work around the clock to ensure that every person adheres to the set gambling laws. It is always important to ensure that you don’t cross paths with the authorities.