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Online Gaming in Nigeria

Authored by Law Allianz (Published April 2024)



Nigeria Online Gaming Overview

In Nigeria, gambling is generally referred to as ‘lottery’. Lottery is regulated at (2) two levels: nationally and individually among the 36 states that make up the Nigerian Federation.

The National Lottery Act 2005 established both the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the National Lottery Trust Fund. The act defines lottery to include ‘any game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan, promotional competition or device for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance, or as a result of the exercise of skill and chance or based on the outcome of sporting events or any other device which shall be operated according to a licence’. The lottery licences granted by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Charitable lottery
  • Online lotteries
  • Promotional lottery
  • Sports lottery

While the various states which are 36 in number plus Federal Capital Territory Abuja have their respective laws and administrative agencies for regulating lottery business in their jurisdictions. As an example of a state-level law Lagos State Lottery & Gaming Act 2021 which defines, gambling as ‘the wagering or the stake of money or anything of value on the unknown result of a future event at the risk of losing all or a portion for the sake of a return, irrespective of whether any measure of skill involved or not and encompasses all forms of gaming and betting’.

Therefore, the legal elements required for an activity to be regarded as gambling is specified by the applicable laws of the different jurisdictions.

Remote gambling is permitted throughout the country, although it is not yet codified in regulation at the national level; Some states have already passed a remote gambling regulation. The most common form of remote gambling offered in Nigeria is sports betting, which is also conducted through mobile Phones (via telecommunications networks) and the internet.

From our experience, a wager is deemed to have taken place from the location of the consumer, provided the punter or consumer was not targeted by the foreign operator.

There is no licence distinction between land-based or remote operations, so in essence, the criteria are essentially the same; however, the different states may have other criteria peculiar to them.

Market Size
Nigeria is one of the largest and most competitive markets in Africa with a population of almost 200 million people – projected to be more populous than United States of America by 2050. According to a recent report, Nigeria is home to more than 100 million internet users and about 169 million cell phone customers. Nigeria’s internet connectivity is impressive having just commenced 5G. Internet user penetration in Nigeria slightly increased between 2018 and 2022, from around 26% to 38%.

Driven by an estimated 60 million Nigerians actively wagering and over 300 licenced operators in Nigeria, the online gaming industry has grown astronomically in recent years. Lottery business has emerged as a lucrative industry, leveraging on the Nigerian football and sports culture. For sports bettors, the opportunity to turn their passion into earnings holds a strong appeal. The increased participation in the online gaming can be attributed to technological advancement, globalization, affordable access to internet and internet enabled-devices, online payment platforms facilitated by FinTechs, the youthful population in Nigeria as well as the high unemployment rate.


  • Localised payment channels: Bank transfers, mobile banking, use of bank short codes, fin-tech companies are common payment methods in Nigeria
  • Prevalent marketing channels: TV adverts, social media ads, sports sponsorships, billboards are common marketing channels in Nigeria

Top Key Attractions and Challenges

  • The large population of the country (100M internet users)
  • Passion for sports in the country
  • Technological advancement
  • Globalisation
  • Affordable access to internet and internet enabled-devices
  • Online payment platforms facilitated by FinTechs
  • The youthful population with 70% below the age of 35 years


  • Tax tussle between the federal and state governments
  • Regular compliance enforcement for AML and curbing terrorism sponsorship
  • Cultural barriers

Licensing & Regulation

Well-regulated / Unregulated (Open)

Nigeria Online Gaming Licensing & Regulation

Licence Triggers
Presence of gambling equipment and/or local control & management; accessibility of online gambling to population; targeting population (incl. definition of targeting: language, payment methods, localisation, advertising etc).

Array / Type of Licence Needed

Lottery Licence Sports Betting Permit Interactive/Mobile Lottery/Gaming Promotional Lottery(CSPs) Casino

Based on the law currently applicable, individual directors, officers or owners of licensees are...

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Light touch

Nigeria Online Gaming Enforcement

Regulating Bodies

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission Various State Lottery and Gaming Boards Special control unit for money laundering (SCUML) Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit Nigeria Communications Communication (if your involved in mobile lottery)

At the state level, some states have designated gaming board, authority or commission (eg, in Lagos it is the Lagos State Lotteries Board; in Anambra it is...

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Nigeria Online Gaming Marketing

Marketing is permitted but subject to strict advertising standards, codes and guidelines set by administrative bodies. The major administrative bodies responsible for regulating advertising in the country is the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and Advertisers Association of Nigeria(ADVAN). Advertising is regulated in Nigeria under both general and sector-specific laws, regulations, and guidelines, which stipulate principles and requirements for advertising. The...

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Nigeria Online Gaming Fees

Application Fees
The application fees are dependent on the type and class of application and further dependent on whether it is a National or State licence. For further details, see information in specific product sections.

Ongoing Fees
For further details, see information in specific product sections.

Any Required Minimum Guarantee

Capitalisation Requirement
For further details,...

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Nigeria Online Gaming Taxes

Licence Taxes
The tax rate differs across states in the country. Gambling operators are licensed at the national level and in the state where they choose to operate. Therefore, they pay tax in the jurisdiction under which they are licensed and also taxes applicable to companies such as companies income tax, withholding tax, etc. This has brought up the...

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Future Outlook


Nigeria Online Gaming Future Outlook

In recent years there have been two landmark cases involving the gambling sector in Nigeria: NLRC & Anor v AG Lagos State and Western Lotto Nigeria & Wesco Pool & Lottery Ltd. In both cases, the major issues were:

Whether an operator with a national licence was mandated to obtain a state licence too Whether the state boards had the right to penalise operators...

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Legal Expert

Law Allianz

Office locations Lekki -Lagos, Nigeria

Law Allianz is a firm driven by knowledgeable, dynamic and hardworking solicitors who are positioning it to meet the challenges of globalisation by offering world-class legal services in emerging industries such as gaming, sports, creative industries, media, technology, intellectual property, block chain etc.

We are at the cutting edge of traditional and emerging disciplines of law, offering diverse services to high-net-worth individuals, blue chip companies and venerable non-profits organisations.

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