Next changes in the Nigerian gambling market




Next changes in the Nigerian gambling market


In Western Africa – especially in Nigeria – today’s market is mainly land based but the trend is pushing towards a rapid mobile users’ expansion, a quick mobile payment method diffusion and a growing mobile betting interest among punters.


Infrastructure is key, and we have it


It can be said that the internet infrastructure improvements are of immeasurable importance for paving the road towards better and wider spread gambling in Nigeria. By making the internet more accessible to the people, they can be more active online, even when it happens in controlled environments.


Telecommunications companies in Nigeria have started creating data packages for various services, providing gaming companies greater coverage to take advantage of and satisfy their customers easily. When you add to this fact the surreal growth in smartphone users, complemented by the explosion of mobile apps and mobile payment methods we can clearly see that mobile has a crucial role in the entire process of getting the players online. According to statistics, there are an astonishing number of 150 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria, which is a surreal 81% of the local population which numbers around 190 million people! There are 16 million users in Nigeria that prefer Facebook, and 45% of all mobile users (which is a number of 67 million people) strongly prefer WhatsApp as a mobile messaging app!


Why is mobile the way to go?


As stated previously, infrastructure is key, and the mobile infrastructure is incredibly strong in Nigeria, so it is already happening; mobile is definitely becoming a bridge between retail and online in Nigeria. The signals that the region is turning progressively online and mobile are more than obvious and clear. If we consider the growing mobile penetration in Nigeria, the expansion of smart phones users, the proliferation of mobile apps, the provision of internet promotion from telecommunication companies and the improvement in mobile infrastructure, we can clearly see the sports betting and casino offers have already started to profit from this trend and will proceed to develop in this direction.


However, as with any progress, new challenges arise. It is sometimes not so obvious that the evolution from retail to mobile is challenging and in fact, requires more than just a simple creation of a mobile page. To win in mobile, the licensee needs to focus on the maximisation of the experience in the shop but at the same time push the player to move from the shop to mobile, through native apps. The complexity and delicacy of this task can be overwhelming for many, and can, unfortunately, be a breaking point for a lot of operators if not done wisely and correctly.


From this perspective, it is crystal clear that a mobile app is no longer a nice-to-have, however a must-have. The right technology can provide the support to enable the delivery of the most effective betting proposal to players.


 Overcoming the payment challenges in Nigeria


Today, the key forms of payment in the region include USSD (most banks now apply this method for banking), Visa and Mastercard as well as various mobile money operators. A number of people are also experimenting with Bitcoin as well in the West African market.


Technology and payment are changing the landscape of retail business in Africa.  Unsurprisingly so, with 81% of online payment via mobile, Nigeria’s journey in the payment space is rapidly developing and the likes of Inter-switch have gone a long way to creating a model that allows operators and merchants to actively provide goods and services for customers via their platform.


One of the most obvious obstacles in sight is the solving of the payment issue caused by foreign currency due to the international software companies. BtoBet can provide the required level of technology with reference to the most common payment methods and the infrastructure offered by each African country, providing the fitting configuration systems used in each region.

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