International edition
September 26, 2021

Conclusions from a new edition of SiGMA Virtual Roadshow

"The gaming industry in Nigeria is continuously expanding and gaining traction"

Chukwudifu Ugochukuw, Founder & CEO at Oddstackr, suggested for "the country to open up more to foreign operators because I think competition helps a lot in bringing down prices."
Nigeria | 07/13/2021

Across six different panels, the experts said the growth can be attributed to the large youthful population and the increasing access and improvement to internet-enabled devices. They said the lack of regulations could be the reason why the operators are not really into the African market, but that they will come sooner or later. With 43% of the population in Nigeria actively using the Internet, the Govt. has included more rural areas with cashless payments. 


iGMA Virtual roadshow, a webinar that focuses on a new gaming jurisdiction every month, addressed the Nigerian market last Wednesday, July 7. According to the expert keynotes and conclusions from the panel discussions, the gaming industry in Nigeria is continuously expanding and gaining traction, which can be attributed to the large youthful population and the increasing access and improvement to internet-enabled devices.

The Roadshow welcomed 1.5k registrations, a total of 1.3k conference views with total booth entries nearly surpassing the 5k mark.

In his opening keynote, Yahaya Maikori Senior Partner at Law Allianz highlighted the growth of this ever-changing market. The past couple of years saw the limited knowledge and small size of the industry fade. Maikori underlined that SiGMA "will keep on playing a key role in creating a marketplace that ensures the growth of the industry."

The experts agreed that the gaming landscape in Nigeria has changed significantly throughout the years. In the Looking to the future standout panel, Maikori was joined by Amne Syedu, CEO of Shikana Group; Jakub Kolomičenko, Head of Legal at Endorphina; and Kingsley Nwose, CEO at Joovlin to discuss the rise of the gaming industry in Nigeria.

Regulatory aspects were one of the main points of discussion and Kolomicenko stressed the fact that regulations will come sooner or later. He added that "maybe the lack of regulations is the reason why the operators are not really into the African market." Syedu also pointed out that changes in this market are quite vivid, stating that "we have seen many changes. Many companies and associations are engaging with the government. All in all, it’s been unstable. But we’re moving towards stability. I think the market will continue growing more and more."

Furthermore, sports are very popular in the country and the demand for online sports betting is quite high. Placing bets online is legal for Nigeria's residents, with states in the country having multiple betting shops for players to wager on. Nigeria: A Haven for Sportsbetting? was led by Zakaria El Maaroufi, with Araksi Sargsyan, Head of Business Development at DS Virtual Gaming; Dean Akinjobi, CEO of Football Media, and Ilze Jansone, CEO at betBonanza discussing sports betting as a whole in the region.

Akinjobi stressed the fact that this is the number one type of entertainment with various brands looking into Africa to expand their market visibility. Jansone said that "in Nigeria, sports betting still is the dominant form of betting and gambling, in particular online." Localization was also a point of discussion with Sargsyan asserting the importance of localization of products.

In addition, Ogechi Samuel, Regional Sales Manager, West Africa for TVBET offered an overview of TVBET's primary task, which is to provide partners with truly engaging content for a worldwide audience. As the B2B provider, the company offers a far-reaching variety of broadcasting live games, with live streaming at the core of the brand's content solutions. 

According to The rise of Africa, the continent is on the rise and not only from the gaming perspective. Land-based gambling is still common as a significant number of players aren't familiar with smartphone technologies. When it comes to the online market, Africa is on the verge of regularising it. Understanding the industry is the key towards successful regulation in online gambling, but having clear, complete, and understandable regulation, is the key to develop gambling markets. "It is all about a long-term relationship between players regulators and operators."

Gaming has come a long way and tech has proven to be key to the rise of gaming in Nigeria, with gaming experiencing various advancements through technology. Speaking during The evolution of tech in gaming were Chukwudifu Ugochukwu, Founder & CEO at Oddstackr; Emeka Ezeyi, Senior Enterprise AE Online Gaming at Jumio; and Dare Lawanson, CEO of ReFPredictor Interactive.

The panelists revealed how Nigeria is one of the most exciting frontiers for emerging tech usage with Ezeyi disclosing that although there's a lot that needs to be done in the near future, according to research "43% of the population in Nigeria actively use the internet." Lawanson said that the government is playing a huge role in this with the "inclusion of more rural areas with cashless payments. The transition from credit and debit to mobile payment is pretty fast in Nigeria," he maintained. Chukwudifu Ugochukuw also suggested for "the country to open up more to foreign operators because I think competition helps a lot in bringing down prices."

Lotteries were legalised in Nigeria in 2005 when the Lottery Act was officially established. Another topic titled What’s next for lotteries and retail casinos? was tabled by leading experts Godwin Solomon, Sales & Business Development in Africa of Pragmatic Play; Ken Morris, CEO at 4 Leaf Lotto; Adeleye Awakan, Author & Consultant for E-play Africa; and moderated by 888 Holdings- Head of PT Markets, Monica Rangel.

A sum-up of the topics in conversation was: the importance for platforms to have the right resources, especially resources that are useful in Nigeria such as SMS, USSD; alternative types of games in the online world such as lotto and sports; responsible gaming and regulatory aspects. When it comes to regulation, Awakan said that Nigeria needs "to block illegal websites, that do not pay tax, and build a regulated environment."

Zakaria El Maaroufi, Sales & Client Success Manager for the African market hosted this informative event. This Roadshow will be followed by the Nordics and Netherlands in August.

The second part of the tour kicks off in September with Romania, New Jersey in October, Taiwan in November, before rounding off the year with the Netherlands in December. View the full calendar of events and agenda here.

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