Online Gaming Laws in Nigeria
Online gaming is an activity which has become popular around the world over the years, but is this the same in Nigeria? For those of you concerned with the law, you’ll find that there are some legal forms of online gaming, and some which are illegal or are not regulated. If you are planning on engaging in any of these kinds of activities, then it is important that you understand this carefully.
Here, we are going to tell you a bit more about online gaming laws in Nigeria. These have changed over the years but still remain relatively strict and this is something to consider. Keep reading to hear what these are.
In Nigeria, lotteries, betting pools and slot games have been popular for many years. It was in 1977 that the Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act was put in place that made importing or owning gaming machines illegal in this country. Of course, things changed a little in the late 1990s with more regulations in place to make this a better governed market.
In the following years, many laws were put in place including the Taxes and Levies Act (1998), the Casino and Gaming Law of Lago State (2004) and more. This encouraged more privatization in this sector just in time for mobile technology to really become something that people use for this kind of activity.
Interestingly, despite newer laws allowing for gaming in other forms, online gambling and gaming in Nigeria are still prohibited. You cannot own a casino or operate in this country and this is punishable by law. Operators in Nigeria who want to obtain a license need to be approved by many different parties. These include the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and more. This makes it very difficult for many people and only games that fall under the National Lottery Act (2005) can be offered legally so this causes further problems.
Of course, there aren’t any laws to prevent Nigerians from playing at casinos that are operated and owned offshore such as NetBet. These sites have given Nigerians access to these games and they have proven extremely popular over the years. Many Nigerians have taken advantage of the fact that the legal age for gambling in Nigeria at land-based locations is 20 but online at offshore sites the age is 18 years old.
What Does the Future Hold?
While many forms of online gaming are still illegal in Nigeria, there is room for improvement in the future. It would take a lot of reform and monitoring and so this is why nothing has changed too drastically in many years. For now, we expect many Nigerians to access these kinds of sites that are based offshore in order to engage in these activities. There are currently no laws prohibiting this and until there are, these kinds of activities will continue to take place.