Bello Maigari says inline sports betting is growing exponentially.
Nigeria.- Bello Maigari, the executive secretary of Nigeria’s National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), has called for the government to introduce a tax regime for sports betting. He said Nigerians were spending billions of dollars on sports betting despite the economic hardship in the country.
Speaking at the second biennial national gaming conference organised by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) in Lagos, Maigari said online sports betting in Nigeria had seen exponential growth.
According to local media, he said: “It is not out of place to look at some statistics that underscore the significance of this industry and situate its centrality in promoting the renewed hope agenda of this Administration.”
He continued: “In Nigeria, the online betting sector has seen exponential growth, with millions of citizens engaging in various forms of online gaming and betting. With a population of over 200 million people and the largest betting market in Africa, our country is making giant strides in the world of online sports betting.
“Currently, there are over 65 million Nigerians actively engaging in this activity, spending 15 USD on average every day. It is on record, each day, 14 million bet takes and payments are made online in our country.”
Maigari said that the revenue from the online betting sector is projected to reach over $256 million by the end of this year and to grow at 10 per cent a year to reach $366 million by 2027.
He said: “Leveraging the gaming and betting industry as a tax contributor can help create a level playing field for both local and international operators. By establishing clear and equitable tax regulations, we can encourage foreign players to operate within our regulatory framework, ensuring that we benefit from their presence whilst safeguarding our citizens. The importance for taxation of this sector cannot be over-emphasized.”
Last year, it was reported that Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service had signed an agreement with fintech company E-Technologies Global to help it modernise its tax collection system as part of efforts to attract gaming operators. Through a managed service using E-Tech’s Sentinal National Payment Gateway, integrated payments providers will be instructed to deduct taxes at the point of transaction.
Nigeria’s National Lottery Regulatory Commission aimed to attract tier-one international gaming operators to apply for five-year permits to offer gaming and sports-betting services in the country.
There has been some confusion in the regulatory landscape for gambling in Nigeria due to a rivalry between the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) in the country’s capital. Last month, the LSLGA published a list of 43 operators it said were taking bets illegally only for the NLRC to respond to clarify that 21 of those operators have federal gambling licences valid across the entire country.