1XBet, an online sports gambling operator has been issued with a license to by Nigerian authorities to run its online sports gambling portfolio, despite current uncertainties regarding the government’s attitude towards the gambling industry as a whole.
This past week, the firm celebrated after the Nigerian National Lottery Regulation Commission issued them with a national license, which essentially allows the firm to operate sports wagering across different states in Nigeria until 2024.
The firm started as a Russian Gambling website but has since been split down to domestic units and an offshoot based in Cyprus that offers international services. The firm is now targeting Africa as its primary market in its international expansion efforts, with their customers in DR Cong, Burundi, Cameroon, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia and Senegal.
The license was issued this past week, but the firm has already secured a huge number of clients in its Nigerian, thanks, mostly, to its current sponsorship relationship with the Nigerian Football Federation, and other football stakeholders in the country.
Last December, a local media reported that the firm would make a debut in the Nigerian Market. It is currently ranked #40 on the Alexa Ranking in terms of website traffic. However, local operators like Bet9ja remain the biggest traffic generators, right after YouTube and Google in Nigeria.
Currently, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous state with over 200 million people, most of whom are football fans and big bettors. To put this into perspective, this past August, statistic indicates that bettors wagered close to $2 billion each year, on sporting activities, with an average of 14 million bets every day.
For the moment, Bet9ja controls about 60 percent of the market, and the firm stated that it is planning to expand into the local lottery space.
Now, the government is planning an effective revenue collection system this year, with plans already underway for a real-time central monitoring system for lottery and gambling terminals.