How internet access has revolutionised the iGaming industry over the last decade in Nigeria
In the modern age of rapid technological developments, 10 years is a very long time, with Nigeria certainly making full use of this span.
At the turn of the 2010s, there was still a drastic digital divide between developed nations and even Africa’s economic powerhouses like Nigeria. Now, the nation boasts a bustling online community that accounts for nearly three-quarters of the massive population.
Bringing the internet to the masses is much more than merely giving people the chance to make a social media account, though, with it revolutionising business and industry. In just the last decade, brand new, already very popular sectors have emerged thanks to the capacity of Nigeria’s internet, with one of the biggest benefactors in this regard being the iGaming industry.
Quality and accessible internet springs up across Nigeria
Nigeria now stands among the largest telecom markets in Africa, but the nation was far from the colossus that it is now just 10 years ago. In fact, the founder of leading communications service, MainOne, Funke Opeke, only started operations in 2008. Now, of the 211 million population, it’s recorded that 154 million are internet users as of the end of last year, marking a 73 percent internet penetration rate.
While Nigeria’s penetration rate isn’t the highest on the continent, it certainly has the most internet users by a long way. The ever-improving nature of the internet and its gradual trend towards becoming more accessible, price-wise, have helped to develop brand new sectors in the nation’s digital space. Naturally, one of the first places that people look to gauge the health of the online market is eCommerce. Nigeria now ranks as the 35th largest market, per eCommerceDB, seeing over US$5 billion in revenues last year and an increase of 42 percent.
Entertainment has also found itself experiencing a new phase thanks to the widespread internet. This is particularly true of gaming, with Nigeria also catching the eSports bug that’s taken much of Asia and some of the West by storm. In fact, the 2020 La Cup d’Africana saw one of Nigeria’s nine entrant teams take the crown, besting a pool of 900 in the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds event. Then, of course, there’s also the rise of iGaming.
iGaming continues to rise to prominence in Nigeria
While there were patches of gaming and local competitive gaming around Nigeria prior to the surge in power of the internet, iGaming was essentially non-existent. Being entirely web-based, the industry couldn’t take off because people couldn’t access the sites. Now, there’s a tremendous range of options on these betting and casino sites because Nigeria’s internet is strong enough to deliver them to the market.
This is why the likes of bet365 Nigeria offer a sportsbook full of features like Bet Builder, Auto Cash Out, and Each Way Extra, along with its eSports betting range and stacks of casino games. A key feature that has also received a boost in this regard is live casino gaming. Requiring a live stream to run, they’re very demanding games, but just as video streaming is slowly on the rise, so too is live casino gaming.
The final aspect of the new digital landscape in Nigeria that’s greatly contributed to the success of iGaming is the use of safe and private digital currencies. Some eWallets have been able to find an audience, but the big winner has been cryptocurrencies. Nigeria ranked eighth among all nations for crypto adoption in 2020, and many iGaming platforms are happy to accept the new form of currency.
The rise of the internet across Nigeria has opened up a whole new world of business and entertainment, with iGaming now becoming a big part of this digital revolution.
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