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How sports betting plays a key role in Nigeria's economic development -

24th September, 11:04

Magnus Ekechukwu, deputy-director of Public Affairs at the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), said that sports betting had greatly contributed to the country's socio-economic development. Ekechukwu made the statement in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Abuja.

"The money obtained through sports betting that reaches the government is returned to society so that everyone benefits, whether they play the lottery or not. We bring good projects to schools; we take to hospitals; We take communities and so on. Therefore, the benefits cannot be easily quantified in this way."

"If you have read our law, the law is defined to include and cover sports betting activities. I mean the lottery is defined as including sports betting activities. Lottery and games have been used around the world as a tool for social-economic development, wealth distribution, empowerment, poverty reduction, and so on."

"But beyond that, lottery turnover and sports betting, we are providing what we call good courses in Nigeria, which is the government's intervention in the development of the country's infrastructure."

"So, for those who participate and win, for example, I mean someone who takes just 100 Naira and earns 2 million Naira. You can see that your life can be transformed if you are someone responsible enough to know how to use your resources."

Some users can start a good business with that. So, the benefits are many. Lottery and gaming companies are here to stay; No country is an island, so it cannot isolate Nigeria from what is happening in other parts of the world.

"Sports betting has come to stay, it's a global phenomenon, it is happening all over the world and people are participating in. And countries also benefit income from it to help themselves in their development projects and in what we do in Nigeria," he said.

Speaking of legal support for his operation, Ekechukwu explained that the commission was created by a law of the National Assembly called the National Lottery Act of 2005. "It is, therefore, this law that governs and guides these operations, which is they shape the role of the commission as a regulator and our responsibility as a licensee, "he said.

The NAN states that the NLRC is responsible for regulating lottery and sports betting activities in Nigeria. NLRC is also responsible for promoting transparency, ownership, and integrity in the operation of the National Lottery, among other responsibilities.

NAN says that over the past decade, sports betting has become one of Nigeria's fastest-growing sectors and the proliferation of betting shops is not hard to see even for the uninitiated. Each week, players predict the results of football games and bet money in the hope of making a fortune. NAN in Abuja observed that most people attending betting centers were young adults aged 18-25 on

He recalled that a survey conducted by NAN had revealed that Nigerians spent more than 730 billion Naira a year in sports betting and that at least two billion Naira was generated every day, according to recent research. The data also revealed that more than 60 million Nigerian players spend more than 3,000 daily bets on naira. There are at least 50 betting sites in Nigeria, and their numbers are increasing every year.

Whether sponsoring some of the many betting shops in almost every neighborhood or playing directly from their cell phones, many Nigerians have finally adopted the trend of winning (or losing) money with sports betting. According to an estimate of 2018, the Nigerian betting sector represents more than five billion Naira per day and it is estimated that more than 30% of the total population is actively involved.