Nigerians spend over 730 billion Naira annually on sports betting and at least two billion naira is generated daily, recent research data shows.
Data also revealed that over 60 million Nigerian punters spend over 3, 000 naira daily placing bet stakes. At least there are 50 betting sites in Nigeria with the number growing annually.
Respondents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, said they placed bets to generate quick and easy income, and turn their passion for football into cash.
28-year-old Fashion designer, Segun Mukoro who bets at least once weekly said that it was the fastest way to double his income and although he might lose sometimes, the wins come big.
He said, “Yes I bet and I do so weekly, especially when there is a league playing. When you have been betting for long, it’s easier to know what odds to play and what teams to bet on.
“It is a guessing game and you get better with time. I know that it is addictive but I see it as an investment, a way to double my income,” Mukoro said.
Similarly, 23-year-old Eronini Kolapo explained that he used betting to augment his allowance as a student. He told NAN that he started for fun, at first but soon built a network from it.
Kolapo’s almost-perfect predictions made him a leader of his sport betting ring where his peers pay him extra to place ‘sure’ bets for them.
His model is not strange as website and online channels where predictions are sold to help punters maximise betting stakes, populate social media.
However, there are tons of fraudulent platforms.
30-year-old Noble Obioria sold his agro-business and combined the proceeds with his savings to purchase predictions from a fraudulent channel that swindled him.
He spent almost one million naira trying to place a ‘sure’ stake with hope of making over ten million naira in return.
He told NAN that losing all his money helped him realise how addicted he was to betting and how much he had given to the greed and dissatisfaction that came with regular betting.
Obioria also agreed with respondents who said that the presence of betting sites and platforms online made it too easy and fuelled the desire to place stakes.
Research statistics show that over 14 million bet stakes and payments are made over the internet every day. This, however, does not affect the rate of teeming punters at offline, physical shops.
A betting shop attendant, Niyi Adejujagbe said that he gets at least 500 stakes placed in his shop daily, adding that he has a crowd of punters as early as 9 am.