iGaming: Nigeria's diverse gaming landscape in 2020
Nigeria is a sports powerhouse in West Africa. It takes part in a wide array of sports including athletics, basketball, football, and rugby. Also, Nigeria is the most populous African nation with slightly over 200 million people according to Statista. The young population in the country is a target for many bookmakers and online casinos. In this article, we discuss Nigeria's gaming landscape in 2020.
Mobile and console gaming are among the top trends in Nigeria this year. iGaming involves mobile and money online activities including sports betting, poker, and casino games. Nigeria has a different iGaming scene from that of other African countries. Sports betting has dominated this sector. About 60 million Nigerians from 18 to 40 years are regular gamblers, according to the Affiliate Insider. They use different gaming apps to play the best online slot games for fun. Reports state that Nigeria's iGaming market is worth $2 billion.
Online slots verticals are popular in Nigeria. Gambling regulations that control brick-and-mortar casino gaming don't apply to slots. So, online slots developers have started diversifying Nigeria's iGaming sector. They are building mobile games with advanced audio, graphics, and better player engagement. Moreover, the demand for mobile games with high payouts is on the rise. Some of the newest game titles have a Return To Player (RTP) of up to 99 per cent.
The global Esports market surpassed the $1 billion mark this year. It has pushed for innovation and technological advancement in Nigeria. Soon, the country might be an Esports epicentre in Africa.
Amaete Umanah partnered with several entrepreneurs to form the African Gaming League in 2016. They were the first people to host Esports tournaments in Nigeria. At first, they focused on organizing online events like the APL and FIFA in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, and Lagos. The West African country established The eSports Nigeria League this year.
Statistics show that about 83 per cent of Nigeria's population own smartphones. App developers have tapped into this market. Call of Duty: Mobile, Brawl Stars, and PUBG Mobile are among the famous mobile games in Nigeria. Besides, Nigerian developers are building games that suit local gamers. For instance, Gildi Run is a Nigerian game that resembles Temple Run. It is set in Lagos streets. ChopUp, a Nigerian development firm, has published 30 mobile gaming apps since 2014.
The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) regulates gaming activities at the national level. But, there is an overlap between some of its services and those of state lottery boards and services. The Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) regulates the lottery in Lagos State. It has increased its transparency to strengthen its regulatory framework. The board has introduced new measures like updating and providing data. This includes lottery organizations whose licenses it has suspended.
Other Nigerian states have realized the revenue potential that the gaming industry has. For example, the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS) informed operators to offset all tax liabilities and renew their licenses. The service regulates all gaming activities in Edo state.
Nigeria's gaming industry has dramatically grown in the past decade. Smartphone penetration, improved internet connection, and the youthful population have played a key role in expanding the country's gaming market. iGaming and Esports are among the most popular forms of gambling in Nigeria. Many Nigerian soccer fans watch La Liga and the English Premier League.