Nigeria’s online casino and sports betting industry did not grow at the speed gaming analysts expected and that was largely due to concerns over the safety and security of online payment systems and low speed internet connections.
Nigeria has unfortunately gained a reputation over the years for online scams and electronic fraud. Local bettors did not want to take the risk of betting online and exposing their financial information to hackers and scammers.
Improvement In Payment Systems Boost iGaming
However things have changed in recent months as local IT firms have focused on developing robust payment systems that cannot be easily infiltrated. iGaming operators have also invested heavily in implementing high end payment systems that give players the confidence to wager online.
The Central bank which controls Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has witnessed an increase in net banking payments. The numbers show that 14 million internet payments were made in 2016, 29 million were made in 2017 and more than 10 million payments were made in the first quarter of 2018. A significant number of these net payments are being made to online casino and sports betting websites as reported by the Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) which is the gaming regulator in the capital city.
In a statement, Seun Anibaba, CEO of LSLB said “We have seen significant growth in the number of payment solutions that are available. All that is definitely changing the gaming space.The operators will go with whoever is faster, whoever can connect to their platform with less issues and glitches”.
The younger generation in Nigeria are now relying on their smartphones to access online gaming sites and place bets. The improvement in internet speed and the reduction in data charges are also contributing to an increase in online betting and gaming revenue in the country.
The capital city of Lagos has been one of the biggest benefactors of this improvement in online payment systems as sports betting taxes went up from 30 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2017.