Nigeria’s economy is ranked 27th in the world by the World Bank based on nominal gross domestic product. It is without a doubt the most economically powerful country on the African continent, with a purchasing power parity of 144.3 LCU per international dollar, and it produces a sizable portion of the goods and services available in West Africa.
It should come as no surprise that the gaming and betting participation rate among Nigerians is increasing with each passing year, given that research firm Global Industry Analysts predicts that the global gambling market will expand to generate $876 billion in revenues by 2026. As a result, the number of domestic and international organizations considering establishing gaming or betting operations in Nigeria has skyrocketed in recent years.
Gambling was once considered an anti-social activity, and as a result, religious institutions such as churches actively discouraged it. However, after the Nigerian government legalized certain aspects of this pastime in the hopes of generating new tax revenues, there was a significant increase in public acceptance of the activity. Despite the fact that the majority of the population now views gambling as a harmless pastime hobby, studies show that 36% of adults in Nigeria regularly participate in gambling activities.
Gaming Regulation in Nigeria
In Nigeria, gambling is currently governed by laws at both the federal and state levels. The first law is enacted by the Nigerian federal government, while the second is enacted by the state governments of Nigeria’s thirty-six states. The majority of these jurisdictions have lottery boards in charge of granting regulatory approval to companies in order for them to operate in this sphere. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission is the entity charged with this responsibility on behalf of the Federal Government. This commission is in charge of issuing gaming licenses. It was established in 2005, the same year that the National Lottery Act was passed into law after a year of debate.
The legal and illegal forms of gambling in Nigeria are defined in Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code Act of 1990, which was passed in 1990. Legal gambling includes bets placed in pools, horse races, poker games, lotteries, and slot machines. Illegal gambling games include the majority of non-skilled card games, roulette, and dice. Be aware that there are no provisions in this law that specifically address online gaming or betting. It does not discuss the internet’s cyberspace, primarily because it is out of date. Nonetheless, operators who want to offer online casino games to Nigerians must follow the same criteria and restrictions that apply to land-based gaming products. This is due to the fact that online casinos are not regulated in the same way that land-based casinos are. A person is considered legally mature enough to participate in gambling entertainment, whether it takes place online or offline, at the age of eighteen.
Lagos is the most popular casino gambling destination in Nigeria. The city is home to seven casinos, including the Federal Palace Hotel & Casino, the country’s largest gambling establishment. As the gaming regulatory body in this territory, the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority was established in 2005. Its responsibilities include the regulation of all types of lotteries, casino gambling, and sports betting.
Requirements for Licensing
A Capital Importation Certificate and a Tax Identification Number are required for any Nigerian organization interested in obtaining a gambling license. The latter is, of course, provided by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. These parties are also required to register for a Value Added Tax for games, according to Section 57 of the National Lottery Act of 2005.
If a company wants to obtain a gaming license from the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority, it is required to first submit an application letter to the authority outlining its goals, and then pay a non-refundable fee of N500,000. Both of these steps must be completed in order to obtain the license. In addition, the corporation is required to disclose documentary evidence of the internal structure of the organization. Documentation indicating a minimum share capital of twenty million Naira is necessary, as are tax clearance certificates covering the three most recent years for all directors. Also required is documentation proving a minimum share capital of twenty million Naira. In addition, in order to be considered for financial assistance, an applicant needs to provide a company bank statement that is at least one year old, a projected balance sheet for the next five years that includes an estimate of profits and losses, and technical structure plans for a venue’s game layout, surveillance system, and other components.
In addition to the N500,000 application price, there is a N20,000,000 fee for the first year of the license. In addition, in order for operators to have their licenses renewed, they are required to make a monthly contribution of N200,000 in tax as well as an annual commitment of N20 million.
Even while the fees for obtaining a gambling license in jurisdictions that allow casino-style gambling are typically equal to one another, there are other states, like Oyo State, that offer much reduced legal fees for operators. Oyo State has a three million Naira cost associated with the registration of enterprises.
License Obtaining Procedures in Other African Markets
There are a few countries on the Dark Continent that have completely regulated gambling markets, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of the population in Africa still views gambling to be an activity that violates social norms. The economies of South Africa, Tanzania, and Nigeria have all benefited significantly from the growth of the gambling industry.
In South Africa, the issue of licenses falls under the purview of the several province governments. Consider the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board as an illustration in this regard. The cost of submitting an application to become a casino operator is R 504,703, and the cost of maintaining a license for this corporation is R 253,51. The Tanzanian Gaming Board mandates large financial expenditures from operators, both domestically ($300,000) and internationally ($500,000), in addition to a 6% fee on stakes collected from individuals who are wagering on games of chance.