Online betting in Nigeria is big business. it is probably the most recognized form of gambling in the country. From factory worker to groundnut farmer, everyone wants to have a bite of the ‘quick money’ sports betting offers.
Nigerian media outlet Daily Post reported earlier this year that over 60 million Nigerians from the ages of 18 to 40 indulge in live betting.
Sports in Nigeria is way past just being entertainment, it is also about making and losing more. The combined betting market of Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa are estimated to be worth nearly $37 billion this year, with Nigeria holding a significant percentage of that market.
History of Internet sport betting in Nigeria
Though sports betting existed in the country, it was alien to most Nigerians until at least 2009 when Akin Alabi, the CEO of Nairabet opened the first indigenous betting company.
Thanks to the rapid penetration of the internet in Nigeria and increased access to mobile technologies, sports betting rose to a multimillion-dollar industry.
Nigerians are crazy about sport. With a very youthful population, rising middle and unfortunately widespread unemployment – sports and money stir up fiery passion among Nigerians.
Though regulatory laws in the industry fall from very lax to non-existent, betting companies have managed to stick to certain rules creating room for fast growth in the industry.
With millions of Nigerians patronizing over 1000+ various local and international betting companies, just where does more of the money go? Who gets more patronage? Who has the best services? Who offers the best chances of winning? Join me as we explore the top 20 sports betting sites in the country while trying to answer these questions.
Our ranking takes into consideration perceived popularity, total audience served, platform security, ease of use, user interface and Alexa rankings.
List of 20 best online football betting sites in Nigeria
Bet9ja is undoubtedly Nigeria’s most patronized and the fastest growing online betting website. It is a household name, its impressive statistics speaks for itself. Alexa ranks the betting company 2nd in Nigeria an outstanding stats by all accounts.
Also with huge page views each month on Google, the platform gets a lot of attention. For some rural dwellers in the country, what we call online betting, is simply “bet9ja”, and for some diehard fans, there are only two betting company, bet9ja, and others. The company’s web platform is well designed, secure, robust and relatively easy to use for bettors and agents.
Official URL: Bet9ja.com
Before anyone else came on board, Nairabet had its roots dipped nationwide. Nairabet is Nigeria’s first online betting company, with outlets littered across the country. We could all comfortably say Nairabet introduced online betting to most online betting fans in the country.
The company played a pivotal role in the rapid growth of the industry in the country. Nairabet is headquartered in Lagos with its nationwide operation regulated by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. It is the first betting company in Nigeria to be licensed and regulated by law.
Official URL: Nairabet.com
1xBet is a money spinner, unarguably one of the most generous bookmarking services around town. The company’s global reputation precedes it, generally regarded as a core driving force. The company offers unlimited payout on winnings and is renowned globally for its impeccably juicy odds. It also boasts a wide range of bookmarking services.
In total, the company offers over 2000 live betting events spread over 90 sports, with more than 4500 betting markets, and 10 000+ live streams daily! The betting platform is generally considered to be secured.
Official URL: 1xbet.com / 1xbet.ng
Nothing captivates a punter’s attention like the catchphrases, ‘it’s hitch free’ and ‘pays on time’. Nobody, certainly not punters want you joking around with their money. Merrybet has for many years prided itself with these virtues.
On its web platform, Merrybet issues instant payment and facilitates the transfer of cash to/from your Merrybet account within seconds. The company also prides itself with 100% bonus on first deposit as well as rooms for live games. Its popularity is also boosted with its physical presence nationwide.
BetKing is yet another money spinner, also offering a 100% bonus on first-time deposits. A relatively new market entrant, the company rose rapidly to the top thanks to intelligent marketing strategies. Backed by big odds and good bonus packages, the company is undoubtedly the fastest growing online betting platform in the country.
BetKing prides itself with offering coverage for all the major sporting events across the world. Live events and exclusive BetKing league are also available.
Official URL: Betking.com
Betpawa is currently among the top tier most visited site in the country. It’s rapidly building a huge audience among adventurous punters in the country. It exclusively offers a ‘bet with airtime’ feature where punters can place a bet using any MTN recharge pin.
Betpawa offers a plausible alternative to other top tier bookmarkers in the country. It prides itself with generous bonuses and promos that significantly boost your potential payouts and indeed your chances of winning.
Official URL: Betpawa.ng
Betway is evidently one of the fastest-growing punter’s destinations in Nigeria. Skyrocketing in popularity, improvement in services and upgrading its online platform positions it among the most sort after platform in the country.
The bookmaker offers a 50% bonus on first deposits with about 250% more on multiple payouts. It offers a uniquely arranged user interface, easy to use and soft on the eye.
Official URL: Betway.com.ng
8. Winnersgoldenbet – WGB
WGB is one of many betting sites that just recently set up shop but rapidly rose to stardom. The company has noticeably concentrated more on its online platforms rather than setting up more local shops.
Just like many others, the company also offers live betting services. This means bets can be made until the end of a particular sporting event. However, the desktop version of the online platform could be annoyingly slow. In contrast, the popular mobile version is impressively fast and robust.
Official URL: Winnersgoldenbet.com
Lionsbet is reputed for operating a betting platform with daring options. The site caters for the global audience, with visits across Nigeria and Europe. The bookmaker also offers superb bonus options and a secure platform.
Despite being a foreign own firm, getting payouts locally is not herculean. The process is swift and hitch-free, and winnings are usually paid on time, the amount regardless.
Official URL: Lionsbet.com
With a marketing strategy targeted mostly at Nigeria, AccessBet offers bookmarking services tailored to its Nigerian audience. It, however, has a small audience in the Benin Republic.
The site’s loading speed is considered slow when compared with other betting sites, it’s about 80% slower than other Nigerian bookmarking platforms. Nonetheless, the site’s mobile version is pretty robust, secure and fast. You won’t probably feel much lag if you are on mobile, same can’t be said of the desktop platform.
Official URL: Accessbet.com
Not to be confused with bet9ja, Naijabet prides itself for being ‘the choice platform of Nigeria’s sophisticated gamers’. The company offers fast payouts, with abundance of mega wins on the internet via the platform.
Naijabet is one of the most locally branded betting platform, offering a wide range of global sporting events with a Nigerian focused touch. Naijabet offers betting on political outcomes in Nigeria and a handful of other Nations. Odds are available for presidential and governorship elections across the country.
If you are a political analyst or someone with sheer luck with predicting political outcomes – Naijabet may be your money spinner.
Official URL: Naijabet.com
One sure thing online betting fans have in common is their passionate love for big odds. A question like ‘who has bigger odds’ could be the icebreaker in deciding which betting platform to go for. Surebet really does a good job in bumping up their odds to the utmost delight of their loyal punters.
There is considerably more patronage for its physical stores than its online platform as it has betting centres scattered in streets across the country. Its betting platform is also intuitive and easy to use though less interactive.
Official URL: Surebet247.com
Betdey is another Nigerian sport betting website with huge bonuses for its customers. It is true you won’t easily find their stores littered across the country, but it does not limit its rapid online growth.
Nonetheless, its official site ‘betdey.com’ is not really doing well to promote its image. The site does not offer an appealing appearance, something you need for a bookmarking platform.
Official URL: Betdey.com
Marsleisure brings traditional pool games to online platforms. It does not really offer new features, but it has managed to gain popularity among sports bettors who prefer to stick to doing things the old way.
It ranks low on user interface design and general appearance. It could easily pass as another celebrity gossip blog but has managed to amass a considerable number of loyal customers.
Official URL: Marsleisure.com
Blackbet is one of the most interactively designed online betting sites in Nigeria. It provides users with real-time data on odds and available markets. On my list, it probably ranks No.1 on interactivity and ease of use.
Blackbet’s platform features a “bare it all” interface, automatically switching between odds and live scores interface whenever there are changes.
It has a superb live betting module, with generously huge odds on live bets. It’s undoubtedly one of the most efficient online bookmarking platform in Nigeria, irrespective of its overall ranking.
Ixbet9ja is another Nigerian bookmarking service on a rapid rise. It is, unfortunately, one of those with frequent massive fluctuations in patronage. The site’s popularity recently had a rebound after series of steep decline that led to reduced patronage.
The bookmarker nonetheless offers juicy bonuses and options to its audience. It has also benefited massively from the popularity of similar platform like 1xbet.com
1960Bet is a Nigerian licensed bookmarking company, also registered and incorporated in the country. The bookmaker offers sports betting for more than 10,000+ events weekly across dozens of sports globally.
It rose in popularity 2 to 3 years ago, and then suddenly went on a rapid decline. There have been repeated instances of delayed payment of winnings, complexity in offered services and abysmal customer services. To its credit, the bookmarker has been improving its services lately.
Official URL: 1960bet.com
Fortunebet offers lots of bonuses and promos as well as a unique betting platform to its audience. However, in this case, a unique betting platform doesn’t necessarily mean better or easier to use. The user interface for its platform is less intuitive and not particularly easy to navigate.
The platform has its pros and cons, and most of its users have stuck to it for the earlier. Thanks to its advertising strategies, the site has been on the rise lately.
Official URL: Fortunebetng.com
Billionairesbet is intuitive in design, moderately secure and reputed for rapid payouts. It stands greater chances of rising up to the top 10 with a little investment in advertising and minor upgrades.
Nonetheless, the betting site is poorly ranked, with little to no physical outlets for punters.
Betwin9ja is ranked among the most visited sports betting website in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the platform is currently fraught with inconsistency and unexplained downtime. The site has been inaccessible for a while and there is no credible explanation on the public domain.
Our ranking, however, does not represent any endorsement and maybe shuffled due to performance, served the audience and perceived popularity over time.
There are so many sites for thousands of Nigerian punters to place their bet. There is a risk in every investment – as it can give fast money it could still render you broke.
I urge you to gamble responsibly, spend some time understanding the cons and pros of online gambling. Also study the competitive advantages, benefits attached, the payout and winning rate of each betting company of your choice.