How to Start Sports Betting Business in Nigeria

How to Start Sports Betting Business in Nigeria

Sport betting is now a multi-billion naira business in Nigeria at the moment and the industry is growing. Nigerians of all ranks say it is a youth empowerment program.

Like it or not, Nigerians are enjoying their moments at various betting houses, spending close trillions of Naira at game houses across the nation.

Whether you like it or not, moral insinuation is now secondary. If you don’t have your skin in betting or youth empowerment as some gamblers have put it, sit back and watch.

Fact is, sport betting has dominated the streets and the industry size has also been projected to cross a trillion naira mark.

Providing an insight into how to start sports betting, legal experts at Pavestone Limited itemize the processes and requirement for obtaining and operating a sport business at state and national level.

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Pavestones Legal firm recognised that the Nigeria’s betting industry is a fast-growing area of the economy.

The firm stated that the industry has further developed with the increase of mobile and internet penetration coupled with the availability of payment platforms provided by Fintech Companies.

Who Regulates Online Sports Betting?

Pavestones stated that the Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) regulates and controls every aspect of lotteries including Online Sports Betting (OSB).

That is for those who operate the business within the state.

The firm explained that a gaming operator, that intends to operate an Online Sports Betting business in Lagos State, must obtain a license from the Lagos State Lotteries Board regardless of any license or permit previously obtained from any other national or state agency.

At national level, legal experts stated that the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) regulates the operations of lottery businesses by issuing licenses and permits; setting standards, guidelines and rules; and promoting transparency and integrity in the operations of lottery businesses in Nigeria.

Technically, entrepreneurs that have interest in operating a lottery or sport betting business must meet these requirements to be granted licence.

In addition to licence, there is requirement for financial and content demand by local and national regulators.

First, the promoter must satisfy the minimum share capital of ₦20m.

As explained by Pavestone, this amount is merely the minimum value of the company shares at the time of registration and shareholders are not required to make financial contributions to this amount.How to Start Sports Betting Business in Nigeria

Satisfying this requirement means that the business must be registered with the corporate affair commission (CAC) with N20m as minimum capital.

Also, there is a local content requirement for operating an OSB business in Lagos.

This requirement does not permit 100% foreign ownership as Nigerians are required to hold at least 15% of shares in the foreign owned company.

The promoter of the business would then be required to apply for licence. Application fee for licence is pegged at ₦500,000 and Initial licence fee of ₦50m is also required.

On annual basis, the promoter will renew the licence with ₦10m

To obtain the licence, Pavestone stated that a promoter must follow the following steps:

  • An application is to be submitted together with the required documents and a non-refundable application fee of ₦500,000.
  • Upon submission of the application, the Lagos State Lotteries Board will conduct due diligence on the application which will take a minimum of 15 working days.
  • An applicant will then be invited to make a presentation before the LSLB, to justify the grant of the OSB Licence.
  • After a successful presentation and upon satisfactory fulfilment of the pre-approval requirements, the Licence fee of N50m is to be paid.
  • Following this payment, an Approval-In-Principle (AIP) will be issued, which a temporary Licence granted for a period of 90 days.
  • The final license will be issued upon the fulfilment of all the conditions stated in the AIP.

Pavestones explained further the LSLB’s licence covers all distribution channels including betting centres and outlets the operator intends to deploy in Lagos.

How to Start Sports Betting Business in Nigeria