A giant emerging market – Nigeria’s esports sector

Lea Hogg 1 year ago
A giant emerging market – Nigeria’s esports sector

The African Esports Association (AESA), set up by national federations and commercial esports companies, recently became affiliated with the World Esports Consortium (WESCO) to provide a foundation for grassroots, player-focused developments in the region. SiGMA News examine the Esports and gaming market in Nigeria as part of the “Gaming in East Africa” ongoing editorial series that will run on SiGMA News.

Nigerian schools Esports league

Mettlestate and Kucheza Gaming are also organising a Nigeria schools Esports league. While all the ingredients are there for a buoyant and lucrative market for esports companies, piracy, fraud, and lack of enforcement of laws and regulations are just some of the concerns preventing faster penetration and market growth. The Nigerian government, keen to create a more conducive gaming environment, is introducing revisions to legislation where businesses will be eligible for a remote operator permit if a licence is already held in another jurisdiction.

Permits issued by the Nigerian National Lottery Regulatory Commission will be valid for five years and cost around US $100,000 in year one, then US $50,000 for each subsequent year. Permits will allow operators to offer casino games, bingo, slots, sports betting and poker.

Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission of Nigeria, said that online gaming continues to proliferate in Nigeria, particularly on mobile.

We welcome all responsible offshore gaming operators to apply for a remote operator permit as long as they pass all the relevant criteria, including full AML screening and responsible gaming practices’’ – Director General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission of Nigeria

Using E-Technologies Global Limited’s Sentinal product, an updated tax collection system, will allow payment providers to deduct taxes at the point of transaction and remit funds immediately to the Treasury. Mohammad Nami, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria, said that the new system is an important way to boost tax revenues at a time when there is a strong obligation on governments to increase tax revenue as a percentage of GDP.  This would provide “much-needed funding for local infrastructure and public services. Nigeria must innovate and harness technology to ensure that online transactions are taxed and accounted for.”

Way forward for Nigeria gaming sector

With the gaming industry growing the app-based mobile gaming market in Nigeria is predicted tobe worth approximately US $126 million by the end of 2023. While the impact of the pandemic andincrease in the cost of living may have taken a downturn, disposable income revenues increased marginally in 2022 albeit that mobile gaming declined by 6.4 percent.

However analysts agree that this was an anomaly caused by “changes in customer behaviour” predicting a return to the growth enjoyed in previous years. With it’s youthful population and propensity for mobile technology, iGaming companies would be ill-advised to ignore Nigeria.


African Esports Association is a non governmental and non profit organisation affiliated to the World Esports Consortium (WESCO)

Mettlestate is a premium esports and gaming and video content creation company based in South Africa.

Kucheza Gaming provides Esports experiences to 6-18 year olds through a network of leagues, school collegiates, industry involvement and computing curriculum with a goal to bridge the learning gap for Africa’s next generation.

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) was established in 2005 to regulate the operations of lotteries and  promote and protect the interests of stakeholders.

E-Technologies Global Limited is a UK company established in 2018 providing Integrated customised IT solutions.

Follow SiGMA News “Gaming in East Africa” series:

Tanzania’s gambling tax rates are 25 percent of gross gaming

iGaming in Kenya Part 2: Slots account for one third of Kenya’s online casino profits

iGaming in Kenya Part 1: Kenya leads the region in iGaming adoption

iGaming in Ghana Part 1: New iGaming frontier in Ghana

iGaming in Ghana Part 2: Upside of iGaming in Ghana

Gaming in Nigeria is on the rise

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