Sports Betting: Nigerians Spend More than N730b Annually

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward CristiaReal Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo picks up the ball from the back of the net after scoring during the charity friendly football match. AFP PHOTO/JOSE JORDAN
  • Sports Betting: Nigerians Spend More than N730b Annually

The rising number of sport betting companies across the country is fueling the desire for quick gains as more sports fans seek to profit from their passion for football.

A recent data shows Nigerians are spending an average of N730 billion annually on sports betting, representing more than N2 billion per day.

The data also revealed that more than 60 million Nigerians spend over N3,000 daily on sports betting across 50 betting sites. The number of sites is expected to surge even more next year.

According to some of the respondents interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the betting allows them to turn their passion for football into cash and generate quick and easy income.

Segun Mukoro, a 28-year old fashion designer, said he bets once a week to double his income even though he knows he might lose, the wins come big.

He said, “Yes I bet and I do so weekly, especially when there is a league playing. When you have been betting for long, it’s easier to know what odds to play and what teams to bet on.

“It is a guessing game and you get better with time. I know that it is addictive but I see it as an investment, a way to double my income,” Mukoro said.

Noble Obiora, 30, who sold his agro-business because of sports betting, said the presence of online betting websites made it too easy to get addicted.

A recent study revealed that more than 14 million bet stakes and payments are made online daily. This does not include offline, physical shops.

Niyi Adejujagbe, an attendant in one of the physical shops, said a lot of punters that can not navigate online platforms or like to have their physical slip handy still visit his shop daily. Therefore, he gets at least 500 stakes placed daily.

He said, “People place bets here every day. They still use shops very well because some don’t know how to use the websites and other people like to see their paper bet slips.”

Dr Aimua Cole, a psychologist, however, said betting and gambling could lead to depression in addicts, saying it usually takes a toll on victim’s mental health.

She said, “Gambling addiction could lead to other serious effects, including loss of jobs, failed relationships, and severe debt.

“Problem gambling is often associated with mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.”

Meanwhile, in an effort to increase revenue generation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced plans to start charging Value Added Tax (VAT) of 5 percent on every bet stake placed by 2020.

About the Author

Samed Olukoya
CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya; Email: [email protected]

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