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Mobile betting is on the rise. Why?

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By now it’s no surprise that sports betting is a popular trend in Nigeria. The country’s love for sport – especially soccer – paired with the increasing number of available online sportsbooks seems to be the formula that is driving the industry’s growth.

The list of betting sites which now offer mobile solutions such as smartphone apps, mobile websites and even offline forms of punting, is one of the main factors behind the 60 million Nigerians between the age of 18 and 40 who are, in some way, involved in sports betting.

Some major betting companies have taken the market by storm over the years, with both national (e.g. Bet9ja, Nairabet, Naijabet) and international brands (e.g. BetWay) making a run to secure the loyalty of Nigerian punters.

It surely helps that as the economy develops, more and more people will be getting access to smartphones instead of the lesser technologically viable palasa phones – old phones whose hardware is not equipped to handle the latest generation operating systems like Android or iOs.

Another factor to consider is that, as things stand, good quality mobile internet connection is somewhat of a rare thing to find. Should this reverse and the telecommunication industry come up with better options at cheaper fares, it would be surely be the «tide that lifts all the boats».

Let us not forget that a big part of the country’s population lives in rough financial conditions. Poverty is a common enemy that should be dealt with using the full arsenal of tools available. Supporters of the sports betting business claim the industry’s success is a good thing. As the industry evolves, chances are that new job opportunities will be available in various professional departments like marketing, technology and customer management to name a few.

One problem that everyone should be made aware though is the likelihood of gambling addiction having a correlated growth. Mobile sports betting is easy to access, and mobile device ownership is on the rise. It is in the best interest of betting companies to deal with this to ensure that their prosperity does not backfire.

Players can opt to be excluded from a betting site, but in order for this to be effective, the effort has to be coordinated between all the betting companies. Some form of regulation may help with this, like ensuring that betting companies operating in Nigeria have a license issued by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission – which in turn should have a pipeline in place to enforce responsible gambling policies.


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