Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Sports betting in Nigeria: A controversial but thriving industry

By Ifeanyi Ibeh
22 February 2023   |   1:38 am
Sports betting has a long and interesting history in Nigeria, dating back to the pre-colonial era. However, it wasn't until the 21st century that sports betting became a popular pastime in the country. The first form of sports betting in Nigeria was known as "pools betting," which involved predicting the outcome of football matches. Pools…

Sports betting is a thriving business in Nigeria and many other countries. Photo: Shutterstock.

Sports betting has a long and interesting history in Nigeria, dating back to the pre-colonial era. However, it wasn’t until the 21st century that sports betting became a popular pastime in the country.

The first form of sports betting in Nigeria was known as “pools betting,” which involved predicting the outcome of football matches. Pools betting was introduced by the British colonial government in the 1920s and was initially targeted at expatriates living in Nigeria. However, it soon became popular among Nigerians as well.

In the 1950s, the Nigerian Football Pools Association (NFPA) was formed to regulate pools betting in the country. The NFPA was responsible for collecting pools entries and distributing the proceeds to winners. Pools betting remained popular throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and the NFPA became a major force in Nigerian sports and social life.

The 1990s saw the emergence of a new form of sports betting in Nigeria – sports lottery. Sports lottery involved betting on the outcome of sporting events, such as football matches, and was similar to pools betting in many ways. However, sports lottery was run by private companies rather than the government, and it offered higher payouts than pools betting.

The first sports lottery company in Nigeria was Premier Lotto, which was established in 2001. Premier Lotto quickly became popular among Nigerians, and it was soon followed by other sports lottery companies, such as Winners Golden Bet, NairaBET, and Bet9ja.

Today, sports betting is a thriving industry in Nigeria. The industry in Nigeria has seen significant growth, thanks in part to the widespread availability of smartphones and the internet. Many sports betting companies now offer online betting services, allowing Nigerians to place bets on their favourite sporting events from the comfort of their own homes.

Despite its popularity, sports betting in Nigeria is not without controversy. Some critics argue that the industry is exploitative and preys on vulnerable populations, such as the poor and unemployed. Others argue that sports betting is a harmless form of entertainment that can be enjoyed responsibly. I belong in the category of people who see sports betting as a harmless form of entertainment and, while the industry is not without its controversies, I am confident it will continue to grow and evolve in the years to come.

Sports betting is big business the world over. Photo: Shutterstock.

I’ve been reviewing new [but notable] entrants in the market and one of the most interesting platforms I have explored is Parimatch.

Parimatch is a sports betting site that has gained immense popularity in Nigeria as a result of their partnership with English Premier League (EPL) Clubs like Chelsea FC, Newcastle United, Lecister City and Aston Villa. Among the betting audience however, the vast selection of statistics football markets on the website has got them excited. Parimatch is definitely a top-tier sports betting site in Nigeria, and here’s why.

Firstly, Parimatch offers a wide range of sports markets that cater to casual sports bettors and professional bettors (and semi-pros such as me). The site covers a vast array of sports, including football, basketball, tennis, cricket, and more. Its football market is particularly impressive, with a comprehensive selection of leagues, tournaments, and matches from all around the world.

Compared to its rivals in Nigeria such as Bet9ja, 1xBet, SportyBet, NairaBet, and BetKing, as well as so many other platforms I have used in the past 15 years as a sports betting aficionado, Parimatch offers a much more extensive selection of sports markets. While other sites may focus on popular sports like football and basketball, Parimatch goes the extra mile to offer a comprehensive selection of sports markets to appeal to a broader audience.

Another area where Parimatch excels is in its user-friendly interface. The site is easy to navigate, and even novice bettors can place bets with ease. The site is designed to be simple and straightforward, with all the necessary information presented in an easy-to-understand manner. Compared to other betting sites in Nigeria, Parimatch offers a more streamlined and intuitive user experience, making it an excellent choice for both seasoned and new bettors.

When it comes to the betting experience, I particularly liked how I could see the live scores of the events I had bet on directly from my bet slip. In addition, I saw my selections get settled as won even before the games had played out. Very impressive from Parimatch.

One of the standout features of Parimatch is its bonuses and promotions. The site offers generous welcome offers to new customers, which is an excellent way to start your betting journey on the site. Also, if you are more interested in games (virtual, instant games, etc) and not sports betting, you still have an option to claim exclusive welcome bonuses for your preferred experience (sports or casino). Additionally, Parimatch is generous with regular promotions and offers, such as cashback bonuses, free bets, and odds boosts. Compared to other betting sites in Nigeria, Parimatch offers more lucrative and exciting bonuses and promotions on sports, virtual and casino games. This is an excellent way for bettors to increase their winnings and make the most of their betting experience.

The Parimatch Android App did not stand out so much to me. It is an APK file just like most of the other operators in Nigeria. The fact that google play store still does not support betting apps in Nigeria may be a limitation but that’s a review for another day. On the bright side, 100% of the features available on the website are available on the app including and not limited to live betting, promotions, secure deposit channels, cash out. Strangely, I could not find a Parimatch iOS betting app – I can only hope that the good people at Parimatch would in the near future bring this beautiful and smooth experience to iPhone users.

On the virtual games and casino front, I found that Parimatch had a collection nearing 10,000! This may be the biggest collection of virtual sports, instant games and online slots available in the country on any betting website. This definitely wowed me. I think the best games experience may be had on Parimatch.

When compared to other betting sites in Nigeria, Parimatch is ahead of the competition in many ways. While other sites may offer similar sports markets, Parimatch’s user-friendly interface, lucrative bonuses and promotions, and seamless mobile app make it the clear winner. Bet9ja, 1xBet, SportyBet, NairaBet, and Betking are all excellent betting sites, but Parimatch stands out.

In conclusion, Parimatch is an excellent sports betting site that has already gained the trust of many bettors in Nigeria. So if you are looking to try a new platform with top offers on football, basketball, tennis, or any other sport, Parimatch is among the best betting websites in Nigeria.