Mary Ekah reports that full-fledged sports gambling has returned to Nigeria through the popularity of sports betting sites
Akeem Badru wasn’t sure if he would win, but he gave it his best shot. The 22-year-old has recently heard about online football gambling, which has taken a foothold in Nigeria.
Just like gambling in Las Vegas, full-fledged gambling has returned to Nigeria as sports fanatics show a growing interest in the premier league. Accordingly, more Nigerian betting sites are appearing on the internet, with many of them having physical offices in cities across the country. Yes, the fervour for the English premier league has never been more powerful to Nigerians. And with gambling firms now opening their doors, the allure of the premier league will continue to increase as lovers of football compliment their love of the football matches by betting on them so they cash in.
A premiership follower said: “Betting online has become very easy and fast and with over 100 betting websites in Nigeria, sports lovers can bet on their favourite club sides.”
A review shows that there are quite a number of Nigerian sites for sports gambling and they are use social media like facebook and twitter to draw traffic. For instance, sites such as Niarebet.com,goldenbetsng.com, mybet.com.ng, nigeriabet.com, nairastake.com, ladbrokes.com,footballpoolsxtra.com, 888sport.com/bet, and paddypower.comoffer online football gambling.
They all claimed to be registered companies in Nigeria. For instance, goldenbet on its site states: “The company is a limited liability company registered in Nigeria. We provide an online platform for football betting to all duly registered customers. We may offer other sports betting products from time to time in which case otherwise stated, these terms and conditions will apply.
“The company is managed by professional financial managers who will give all players the safety and comfort of playing in your privacy or through accredited agents.
“You will also be assured of the best prices the market can offer as at the time of your bet in the case of fixed odd bets. Our web site is linked to international sports betting exchange which gives us the opportunity to offer the best prices in the market. Your bets also traded on these exchanges which reduces our chances of default to the barest minimum. This is made possible with the power of the internet and the professionalism of the company management.”
Mr. Ambrose Obialor who runs Yobo Viewing Centre at Road 202, C Close, Festac Town Lagos, says once English premier teams are playing, fans come in to place their bets. He adds that it is usually individuals that come in to bet, depending on a particular amount that has been agreed, ranging from N2,000.00 to N10, 000.00 and above. These amounts, he says also depend on individual pockets.
He reveals further that premiership league betting is not just about young and poor people but the rich and well to do in the society also get in on the action.
“It depends on the environment where you are watching the games. You know that some ‘big men’ would like to relax in big hotels to watch the match with people of their peers and when it comes to betting, they bet a lot of money, some even bet with dollars,” says Obialor who has witnesses a lot of premier league betting at his outlet.
Speaking on behalf of Nairabet.com, an online football gambling organisation with one of its offices located at the popular Apongbon area of Lagos, Mr. Charles Agam, says premier league betting is a game you play with the teams you know much about.
“You don’t go on and play a bet when you don’t know who is playing and what the strength of the team is and what they are doing. You cannot just come in here and play bet or else you would be wasting your time and resources.
“What we do here is that you play your game on the basis of how much you know of your team. You look at the competing team; compare their strengths and lapses in past matches, the advantages in wining or a draw and then make your assessment, and can predict that this team is going to come out with a win, loss or draw. And then you can place your bet because you have some certainty that your bet is going to be good,” he volunteers.
He continues: “There are some things that people look at and they are very sure that a particular team is going to win and then they can put down their money for such teams. Peradventure it does not work out the way you predicted, that is where you lose and the other side of the game wins.”
How it Works
Agam explains further that customers of betting firms are either cash or online customers. Cash customers, he says, are customers who choose to play through agents and the transactions will be strictly with the agents. Agents, he said, will be monitored to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations of the betting companies. This is to maintain the integrity of the company, protect players, and to keep to the terms of issuance of the company's operating licence.
The operations of the betting firms, he confirmed, are run strictly on an online platform. The implication of this is that there is minimal paper work to be done by all parties concerned. The system has been configured to enable maximum turnover for the agent. Agents can accept bets with deposits, pre-loaded cash cards and Interswitch cards. Markets for selling bets are open 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. Agents will also redeem tickets and pay customers. Any amount used to redeem is automatically credited to the agents’ account available for trading.
Agam, who expressed the view that most people and even kids these days are very knowledgeable about football, unlike in the past, notes that it is a privilege also for people who have started to invest in premier league betting, as football remains the most popular sports worldwide.
Agam insists that premier league betting is a worthwhile recreational investment, adding that the more premier league football takes root, the more chances that people stand to win big. He says further that Nigerians stand a great chance to win their bets, as most people in Nigeria are fervent football fans.
He says there would come a time when Nigerians would begin to predict the exact score line of premier league games, noting however that at the moment, Nigerians were only studying the games, predicting who wins or which teams get a draw because they are still novices. He observed however that in other parts of the world, where the premier league betting has existed for much longer, people predict the exact scores and the chances of winning their bets is bigger.
“When you come to a betting firm, you must first of all know one team or the other, whether it is local or international league. For example, if Nigeria is playing, you should be able to know who the country is playing with and what game Nigeria is playing. You now decide on which country you are betting; it is either for or against.
“For instance, you can bet on Nigeria winning or losing. You can even bet for a draw. This is where you start from and then you decide the amount you want to play considering the strength of the teams you are vouching for.
“If you know that Nigeria is much stronger that the opposing team, you can say okay, Nigeria will be given 2.50 as the odds and then the opposing team, 1.75. That means if you put your N5,000.00, N1,000, N2,0000, or any amount you are capable of as your betting stake, it would be multiplied by the odds, which is may be 2.50 or 1.75,” Agam explained, who quickly pointed out that the word “odd” is the percentage given to every game as it pertains to its strength.
“The premier league bet is like an investment that is worth investing in and in every investment, there must be losses and gains. But the most important thing is allowing your gains to overshadow your losses,” he enthused.
Risky and Rewarding
Dotun Ajekigbe, a sport betting analyst and premiership enthusiast, acknowledges sport betting is trendy and risk, but rewarding.
He says: “Making money from sport betting is now a reality. Millions of dollars are being paid out each day to successful punters. There are far more successful punters now than ever before. You don’t need to pay thousands for computer software systems that don’t work. You don’t even need to be particularly clever in mathematics or have thousands of dollars to start with. You can start right now and build your own betting empire with a well organised plan and the right attitude.
“You see, making money from sport betting is no different from other forms of investments. With the right mindset and resources, only the sky is the limit to how much money you can make. Slowly but surely you could earn a steady income from it year after year. However, like any other business venture, sport betting has its fair share of risks too. In fact sport betting is probably one of the most risky ways to earn a living. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, especially a salesperson trying to sell you betting materials. Being such a risky business punters still pursue it because of one main reason. It is probably the most rewarding and fulfilling moneymaking venture anyone can get into, only if you can make it work that is it.
“Sport betting is gambling, not investing and so is buying First Bank of Nigeria shares or buying a Tantaliser’s franchise. Almost everything in life is a gamble, more so with money matters. With gambling comes risks and nothing is ever 100 per cent guaranteed to work. However, you can dramatically reduce your risks by taking calculated risks only. When you take calculated risks, you base your decisions on sound research and evidence, not intuition. Sport betting is not fully relied upon chance. The better informed the player is, the better chance he/she has at making money."