Nigeria Betting: Driver of sports industry or road to addiction?

By Temitayo Lawal
Posted on Friday, 29 July 2022 10:15

Nigeria's William Troost-Ekong celebrates scoring against South Africa. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Sports betting in Nigeria has the potential to stimulate interest and investment in sporting development – yet the dangers of gambling addiction means that growth may come at a human cost.

A population of over 200 million and a median age of 18 mean that sport in Nigeria should be big business. The Draft 2020 National Sports Industry Policy estimated that the industry could generate N2trn ($4.7bn) in average annual revenue, provide 5 million to 10 million direct and indirect jobs and contribute about 1.5% to 3% of GDP over 10 years.

Yet sports development in Nigeria is still struggling, with the sector contributing well under 1% of GDP. Some see betting as a potential engine of growth. Increased interest in betting could mean higher match attendances and improved TV viewership, making team sponsorship more attractive. Government tax revenue from betting could be used to develop sporting facilities.