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Nigerian Online Sports Betting Laws

The legal situation in Nigeria with regard to all manner of online gambling, including sports betting is quite simple.  There are no restrictions for Nigerian residents whatsoever.  If you would like to play, you are fully allowed to do so.  The only gambling laws that exist in Nigeria are set out in the 1990 Criminal Code Act and refer to casino games, or games of chance that may exist physically in places like an unlicensed gambling parlour, they do NOT refer in any way to online play.  Only these physically located operations have been outlawed.  

In terms of the wider attitude, the Nigerian Government is certainly pro-gambling and is in the gambling business.  There is no moral stance against gambling.  Three state-run casinos have been in operation since the early 2000s.  The Lagos State Lottery Board also licenses online casinos and sportsbooks that operate from within Nigeria, so it is clear that there is no moral or legal issue with regard to any form of online gaming.  

However, I have outlined on my page about Nigierian Naira sports betting why these native Nigerian services are inferior to internationally renowned sportsbooks as listed and reviewed on this site.  While Nigeria as a government should be applauded for getting into the gaming business, in terms of you, the interested sports bettor, the best experience all around will come through the world’s market leaders that all operate from the United Kingdom or from offshore gambling jurisdictions.  You will have access to better odds, more betting markets, lower minimum betting thresholds, far higher maximum winning limits and above all else can be assured that once you bet is placed, a winning bet will pay out.

Although the Government-run body is in charge of licensing Nigerian-based online sports betting sites, each one defines their own rules.  These rules essentially allow the Nigerian sportsbooks to cancel your bet for almost any reason.  You may not have most of your winning bets cancelled, but if the company receives a very bad result which would cause a large financial loss, you very well could lose out on an otherwise perfectly good winning bet for no legitimate reason.  If you are betting with any of these Nigerian based sites, have a look at their “Rules” page and you will see this under “Rights” or “Settlement and Cancellation Rules” and you will see exactly what I mean.  Fair and reputable sportsbooks do NOT have these clauses written into their rules or terms and conditions except for the most rare of circumstances.  All the online betting sites that I list are legal for you to use from Nigeria and are the most reputable in the sports betting industry.

Nigerian Laws vs. the World

The brief summary at left describes the Nigerian online sports betting law situation, and compared to many places around the world, it is a wonderful situation and from your perspective, you should feel very lucky.  There are many jurisdictions around the world that have taken an extremely tough and restrictive approach to the business of online sports betting.

Countries like the United States, Spain, Italy, Denmark, France and Australia have all developed some level of legislation that restricts consumer choice.  Luckily Nigerians essentially have full freedom of choice for which service they would like to use when it comes to either betting on sports or even playing with an online casino.  At present, there are no plans within the Nigerian government to change this situation nor to develop a licensing program for outside betting or casino providers.  You should be able to enjoy your freedom of choice for many years to come.

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The best online sports betting sites for players in Nigeria

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Pinnacle Sports operates as a reduced-juice sportsbook.  This means they don’t advertise and all the savings are passed back to bettors with consistently higher paying odds on all sports.  They mainly focus on the major bet types like Handicap or Moneyline, not the specialty betting markets.  Read the full Pinnacle Sports Nigeria review here.

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Unibet, headquartered in Sweden, provides some amazing coverage of sports betting, especially with their coverage of niche sports, though football is their mainstay.  If you like a football and a breadth of sports, Unibet must be considered heavily.  Read the full Unibet Nigeria review here.

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William Hill is one of the oldest names in sports betting, established in 1934 and currently traded on the London Stock Exchange.  William Hill covers all sports well, but football, cricket and horse racing are definitely their focus.  So if these are your passion, take note.  Read the full William Hill Nigeria review here.

BetVictor has has been in business since 1946.  Known around the world for the most competitive football odds, BetVictor must come under your consideration if football is your main sport.  Even if you have other sportsbook accounts, their odds make it worthwhile to open one with them. Merseyside club sponsor.  Read the full BetVictor Nigeria review here.

888Sport is one of the oldest names in online sports betting, in business since 1997 and traded on the LSE. 888 is specially targeted to football fans and can be seen advertising across many European club grounds. Offering the most banking methods, 888Sport is a great option.  Read the full 888Sport Nigeria review here.

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MarathonBet has been operating since 1997 and has recently exploded in popularity with growth sponsorships of top English, Scottish and Spanish football clubs.  They have moved to offer the most comprehensive football betting coverage with extremely high-paying odds.   Read the MarathonBet Nigeria review.

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Betway serves over 2 million account holders world-wide and offer a beautiful interface with an excellent mobile platform.  Like most top betting sites, they also offer an early cash out feature.  Betway offers great cricket and football betting.  Long-time sponsor of West Ham United FC.