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Nigerian Naira Sports Betting

On the surface, most Nigerians would likely think that betting with the Naira would be advantageous.  After all most nationalities tend to seek out sportsbook services that offer betting accounts in their native currencies to save on currency exchange fees.  However, there are several differences between those countries and Nigeria and these differences account for why customers from more developed nations are well-suited to bet in their own currency, while for Nigerians, it actually makes more sense all around to wager in another currency.  

There are a few online sportsbooks authorised for play through the the Lagos State Lottery Board that offer Naira betting accounts.  However, there are several reasons why you should probably avoid betting with them:

  1. No Naira e-wallets: The only popular e-wallet solution that provides service to Nigerians is Neteller.  However, Neteller does not offer Naira account balances.  If you wanted to use Neteller to fund your account due their quick and secure service, you’d need a betting account balance in Euros, Pounds or US dollars, meaning you’d need to exchange funds anyway.  The Naira betting sites also offer these currencies, but if you want to use Neteller and will bet in another currency anyway, you will be better off choosing a world leader in sports betting to get a better experience.
  2. Expensive to fund your account with Naira: If you really do want to bet in Naira and fund your account using a credit card or ATM card, you will be assessed with a fee over and above the amount you wish to deposit.  This could be a flat fee from 1.5% to 8.5%, or your credit card company could treat your transaction with the sportsbook as a cash advance, meaning interest may accrue on your transaction from the moment it occurs at your current card interest rate, likely over 20%.  In other words, if you want to deposit N1,000 you’d actually need to pay a significant fee to use your card.
  3. Low Naira Winning Limits:  If you want to bet with a Naira sportsbook, you will be subject to their very low winning limits.  The highest amount Naira sportsbooks will payout is N1,000,000 or the equivalent of about USD5,000.  Anything above this amount will be rounded down to this limit.  All my recommended sportsbooks are authorised to pay out significantly more money than that.  I outline specific winning and betting limits on my page about high limit betting.  
  4. High Minimums: With some Naira sportsbooks, the minimum bet is N50 or about USD2.50.  Most all of our listed sportsbooks have a minimum that is the equivalent of USD1.00.  If you just want to play and like to spread your stake money around, the Naira option is far more restrictive.   
  5. Lower-paying odds: Put simply, the companies that compete to serve the world have more competitive odds pricing than the company that only hopes to serve Nigeria.  When you win, you want the most for your stake amount.  You won’t get the most for your money with any Naira sportsbook.  You can have a look here to compare the best odds from a selection of our sportsbooks.  They need to appeal to bettors around the world and their high paying odds are available to you too.  
  6. Risk of winning bet cancellation: have a look at the “Rules” section of a Naira betting site.  You will note many clauses that allow the company to cancel your bet.  While they likely would not make a habit of cancelling your winning bets, these rules exist so they have the option to do so if a particular match result leaves them in a poor financial state.  Reputable, UK and offshore sportsbooks do NOT have these types of broad cancellation clauses.

The reason for trying to bet in your own currency is to save money on currency exchange fees when moving money between your betting account and your bank account.  However, despite depositing Naira, you will be assessed fees that roughly equate to what you would pay to exchange Naira to a more popular betting currency as used with the World’s top sportsbooks.  

So if betting in the Naira won’t actually save you any money, why limit yourself to a lesser quality sports betting experience?  All the online sports betting sites below accept Nigerian players, offer higher odds, lower minimum stakes, higher betting and winning limits and in general a better overall experience without the risk of bet cancellations as you would risk with Nigerian-based sportsbooks.  The choice is clear.

Understanding the list:

When most online sportsbooks get reviewed, the reviewing site operates in a grey area.  They tend to list as many betting sites as possible and always try to include the brands that have targeted themselves to your particular market so you, the reader will recognize their listed brands.  The review site will often include a phoney high grade or star rating for each site to encourage your play.  However, the review never mentions why one particular site got such a high grade, nor do they mention why one site is 5-stars, and another is 4-stars.

Other review sites operate in this way because they don’t actually care where you decide to play.  Their real goal is to list as many sites as possible and hope that you will recognize a brand, will see the positive rating and start playing.

This site reviews sportsbooks with a different philosophy.  As you can see from the list at left, several of the biggest names that target the Nigerian market are not listed.  The list only includes the most reputable sites based outside Nigeria, ensuring your funds are secure with highly regulated companies.  

Unlike other review sites, this site is not interested in listing sites with which you are familiar but have a poor reputation of winning wager cancellation or might leave your deposits at risk such as with some of the locally regulated sportsbooks.  The sites listed are truly the best group of sportsbooks for the Nigerian bettor.

The list only includes sites that have satisfied the following criteria:

If a site fails to meet all these criteria, the reviewed sportsbook is not included in the list.  A sportsbook is either worthy of your custom, or not worthy, there is no grey area.  

I’ve reviewed over 30 of the biggest names in the business, including your local Nigerian sportsbooks.  I’m not here to list every one of those sportsbooks, tell you what is wrong with them from an Nigerian perspective, and then hope to trade on their brand and logo because they advertise at EPL football matches and you know their name. It just would not make sense.  If I ranked the sportsbooks 1 through 30, would you then move to sign up with sportsbook #28?  Of course not!  That’s why I keep my list very short - only the best of the best.

The best online sports betting sites for players in Nigeria

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bet365 is one of the most trusted sports betting sites in the world, regulated & located in the UK.  They offer amazing online, mobile & in-play betting platforms covering Nigeria’s favourite sports with so many different betting markets.  They even have a feature to let you settle bets before the match is over, to take your profits early.  Read the full bet365 Nigeria review here.

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BetFred is the 4th largest sportsbook in the UK, established in 1967.  They offer one of the best mobile sports betting experiences with a focus on football, cricket and horse racing, but of course cover all sports.  Read the full BetFred Nigeria review

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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.  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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