Nigerian gambling laws

There have always been players around the world who have enjoyed gambling as a recreational activity. Nowadays, people have access to the internet, which makes this even more true. With online casinos, players can access gambling platforms from around the world. 

Regulation is a key part of the iGaming business in the digital age we live in, according to Casumo’s experts. As well as providing a safe and secure gaming environment, it also provides websites that are compliant with the law. When it comes to gambling legislation, countries all over the world have always taken a controversial approach. 

Gambling laws vary from country to country, with some having more liberal ones and others more conservative ones. 

A number of countries don’t yet have clearly defined laws regarding online gambling, even though they have legislation governing land-based gambling.

A country like Nigeria belongs to this category. 

It is sometimes difficult to understand the rules and regulations surrounding gambling in Nigeria. As far as gaming is concerned, there are no clear-cut laws or regulations in the country. Legal and illegal gambling are, however, discussed in two federal acts.

The Gaming Machines Act of 1977

Gaming machines are prohibited in Nigeria by law. If you run a gaming machine, you will receive a one-year jail sentence without the option of a fine. In addition to confiscating the devices, the government will also confiscate any proceeds generated by them. 

According to the Act, a gaming machine refers to a mechanical device that allows users to play gambling games for monetary prizes through the use of coins or tokens.

Act on the Nigerian Criminal Code

Chapter 22 of the Nigerian Criminal Code addresses gambling in Subsection 1 of Section 236. Gambling activities that are legal and prohibited are defined in the Act. Listed here are illegal gaming houses, which are properties or locations used to conduct unlawful gaming.

The possession, operation, management, or living in an illegal gaming facility is a crime in this country. Owners, operators, managers, or residents of unlawful gaming houses are punishable with a fine of 1,000 Naira or two years in prison. Also outlined in the Act is what constitutes legal gambling and what does not.

Nigerian lawful gaming types

Nigerian law recognizes the following games as legal forms of gambling.

The land-based casino

It has 36 states but only a handful of casino licenses despite being one of the largest countries in the world. Here are a few examples: 

  • Hotel and casino Le Meridien Eko
  • Casino and hotel at Federal Palace
  • Casino at the Hilton Transcorp
  • Casino and hotel at the Federal Palace

It is a mystery why there are so few casino licenses available. It may be because lotteries and pools/betting are the most popular types of gambling in Nigeria. Sports betting online, which is unrestricted, has become more popular. 

Pools and betting

As long as betting and pool houses are the only forms of gaming available in Nigeria, the law does not prohibit their operation. A totalizator is required in Nigeria to register bets and divide the winnings evenly among the winners.

The lottery

Participation in a lottery gives participants the chance to win cash or other valuable prizes. Probability or picking numbers may be used to accomplish this. Buying a lottery ticket gives you the opportunity to participate in a contest where you can win large amounts of money if you pick the right number. In this case, the National Lottery Board is responsible for regulating the process.

It is difficult for land casinos to import machines into Nigeria due to its strict gambling laws, but it is not impossible to operate a licensed casino there.

Casinos online

Nigerian legislation has a bit of a gray area when it comes to online gambling. It is the responsibility of the Nigerian Lottery Commission to license online casinos in Nigeria, and online casinos in Nigeria are expected to comply with all laws and regulations that apply to land-based casinos as well. Online gaming isn’t specifically mentioned in the law, and offshore casinos aren’t prohibited. Online casinos are still available to residents with Nigerian gambling regulations in place, unless they are offshore casinos.