According to the World Bank, Nigeria has the 27th largest economy in the world when measured by its nominal gross domestic product (GDP). It is without a doubt the most powerful country on the African continent, with a purchasing power parity of 144.3 LCU per international dollar, and it is responsible for the production of a significant portion of the goods and services that are offered in West Africa.
Instructions for Obtaining a Gambling License in Nigeria
It should not come as a surprise, given that the global gambling market is projected to generate $876 billion in revenue by 2026, that the participation rate of gaming and betting among Nigerians is increasing with each passing year. As a direct consequence of this, the number of domestic and international organizations interested in launching gaming or betting operations in Nigeria has significantly increased over the course of recent years.
Gambling was once seen as a deviant pastime and was actively discouraged as a result by the Christian church. On the other hand, it became more acceptable to the general public after the government of Nigeria made certain aspects of this pastime legal in order to bring in additional tax revenue. Studies have shown that 36 percent of adults in Nigeria regularly participate in gambling activities, despite the fact that many people in the country now view the activity as a risk-free form of entertainment.
Gaming Regulation in Nigeria
There are currently federal and state-level gambling laws in Nigeria. The former is passed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, while the latter is passed by various state governments, of which there are 36. The majority of these have lottery boards in charge of granting companies regulatory approval to operate in this sector. This honor is bestowed upon the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, which issues gaming licenses on behalf of the federal government. It was established in 2005 with the passage of the National Lottery Act that same year.
Gambling in Nigeria is defined in both its legal and illegal forms in Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code Act of 1990, which was passed in 1990. There are several forms of gambling that are permitted by law, including betting pools, horse racing, poker, lotteries, and slot machines. Roulette, dice, and the majority of non-skilled card games are all considered illegal. Be aware that neither online gaming nor online betting is mentioned anywhere in this law. It does not include the internet space primarily because of its advanced age. However, in order to provide Nigerians with access to online casino games, operators must first comply with the same criteria and restrictions that govern the sale of land-based gaming products. Eighteen years of age is the legal minimum for participating in gambling entertainment of any kind, whether it takes place offline or online.
There are seven casinos in Lagos, making it the most popular place for casino gaming in all of Nigeria. The Federal Palace Hotel and Casino is the most notable of these, as it is the largest gambling establishment in the country. Established in 2005, the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority is the gaming regulatory body in this territory. Its responsibilities include the supervision of all forms of lotteries, as well as casino gambling and betting on sports.
Prerequisites for Obtaining a License
Those who want to run a gambling business in Nigeria need to get a Capital Importation Certificate and a Tax Identification Number first. Only then can they apply for a gambling license. The latter is, as a matter of course, offered by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. In accordance with Section 57 of the National Lottery Act of 2005, these organizations are obligated to additionally register for a Value Added Tax for games.
A business entity that wants to obtain a gaming license from The Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority must first send this body a letter of application stating its intentions and then pay a fee of N500,000 that is non-refundable. Both of these requirements must be met. Additionally, it is required to provide documentary evidence of the internal structure of the company. The submission of documentation demonstrating a minimum share capital of twenty million Naira is required, as is the submission of tax clearance certificates for all directors dating back three years. In addition, in order to be considered for financial assistance, an applicant needs to provide a bank statement for their company that spans a minimum of one year, a projected balance sheet for the next five years that details estimated profits and losses, as well as technical structure plans of a venue’s game layout, surveillance system, and other components.
The license itself costs N20 million for the first year, but the application fee is only N500,000. In addition, operators are required to pay a tax of N200,000 each month, in addition to an additional N20 million each year to renew their license. This tax is in addition to the annual fee of N20 million.
Even though the licensing fees for states that allow casino-style gambling are fairly comparable, some states, like Oyo State, have significantly lower legal fees for operators. In the state of Oyo, the fee for obtaining a license is three million Naira.
The Procedures to Follow in Order to Obtain a License in Other African Markets
There are only a few nations on the African continent that have fully regulated gambling markets; however, gambling is still socially unacceptable in most of the continent. Gambling has become a significant part of the economy in not only Nigeria but also South Africa and Tanzania.
In South Africa, the respective provincial governments are in charge of the licensing process. To give one example, there is the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board. The annual licensing fee for this organization is R 252 351, while the casino application fee for operators is R 504 703 at this establishment. The Tanzanian Gaming Board imposes a levy of 6% on stakes and mandates significant investments in the country from both local (in the amount of $300,000) and foreign (in the amount of $500,000) operators.