Updated June 18, 2021
To say gambling is a popular past-time in Nigeria would be a clear understatement. Ever since the legalisation of gambling in the late 1990s, the number of people who fancy a flutter has grown rapidly. A September 2019 report shows that over 60 million people in Nigeria aged between 18 and 40 gamble, spending around $2 billion annually. Put another way, 4 out of every 10 Nigerians partake in the gambling industry in one form or another. This amounts to a per capita daily spend of 300 Naira ($0.78) on wagers. These figures paint a pretty comprehensive picture of how active the gambling and gaming sector in Africa’s most populous nation really is.
All week long, you’ll find people placing bets on their favourite sports teams in football leagues and more. Despite the large size and high rate of activity in the country’s gambling community, several challenges make it difficult for the average Joe to make his bets with ease.
Why Bitcoin Gambling is beneficial in Nigeria
High transaction fees
Bets and withdrawals of winnings in Nigeria are usually made in person, or through online banking channels. Despite the opportunities Nigerian bettors have to place bets online, a major stumbling block is that a lot of international online bookmakers do not accept the Naira currency.
As a result, bettors in the country have to convert their money, which is often costly, both financially and in time wasted. Foreign exchange charges - traditionally factored into buy/sell FX rates offered, and which usually vary wildly from actual spot market rates - will immediately eat into anyone’s bankroll, with the double whammy that a player may need to transact this twice - first form Naira into the currency of their choice to play, then to convert any winnings back into Naira.
Betting with bitcoin immediately removes that problem.
You can set up a Cloudbet account in minutes, purchase the cryptocurrency of your choice, and be playing in minutes. And your winnings are credited to your account immediately.
It’s almost impossible to avoid bank charges on any given day in Nigeria. Whether making an online transaction or a physical withdrawal of money, bank account holders must pay the cost of holding their money with a bank. Banks in Nigeria are also allowed to charge card maintenance fees of $20 pa for foreign-currency debit/credit cards, while local debit/credit cards cost 50 Naira in monthly maintenance fees. In a nation where the average household income is low, this can reduce purchasing power significantly for those who like to bet.
Traditional financial institutions are well known for being slow to transact, especially if the transaction is international. Settlement may well take two or three days (T+2 or T+3), or sometimes longer. The argument in favour of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is familiar - that these transactions are executed on the blockchain much, much faster, with no issues such as double-spend or charge-backs.
What this means is that operators such as Cloudbet can transact much more cheaply - which allows them the opportunity to pass these cost-savings back to players by offering some of the fairest odds available anywhere in the world.
In Nigeria, there are other considerations to take into account as well.
Withdrawal of winnings can easily be disrupted by a power outage, a dead battery on a withdrawal machine, or some kind of network disruption. In an effort to improve their infrastructure, many local wire transfer operators and/or popular remittance services. As a result, payment service providers spend more money to improve their services, and these costs can get passed on to users in the form of high commissions.
These factors make traditional methods of placing bets and withdrawing winnings on bets more difficult than they should be.
While Nigeria’s betting industry has grown significantly over the years, there is still a great need for more innovation. Innovative solutions like bitcoin betting could fill the gap that the industry has struggled with for years.
Why choose Cloudbet in Nigeria?
Established in 2013, Cloudbet is the world’s leading cryptocurrency sportsbook and casino platform, fully licensed and regulated with satisfied customers in over 100 countries.
Cloudbet is constantly striving to improve our offering, and now accepts a total of 12 different coins for deposits, withdrawals and betting - from Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT), to USD Coin (USDC), Pax Standard (PAX), Pax Gold (PAXG), Chainlink (LINK), DAI, Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH) and - with much wow - most recently Dogecoin (DOGE).
Benefits of betting with bitcoin
Aside from the positives of transacting in bitcoin explained above, there are further benefits that make bitcoin betting in Nigeria such an attractive proposition.
Privacy and security
Traditional financial institutions/banks in Nigeria usually require know-your-customer (KYC) information as well as other details that can make it difficult to not only get a bank account in the first place, but also to maintain an account. In stark contrast, a bitcoin wallet is easily available to most anyone. Buying bitcoin does not require its owner to present the same level of KYC requirements that banks usually expect of their customers.
Security is Cloudbet’s number one priority for players, which is why all deposits are safely held in cold storage, meaning private keys are stored offline. A hot wallet facility is only used to service day-to-day withdrawals. Players can also enjoy additional peace of mind by opting to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to their Cloudbet account for personal protection of log-in details.
A hot wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet that is connected to the internet. Most Nigerians who use bitcoin use hot wallets to store their cryptocurrency. A minority of more experienced bitcoin users choose to use both hot and cold wallets. Both technologies are easy to use.
Low transaction fees
One of the key advantages of cryptocurrency is that transferring it is very inexpensive by comparison to fiat currency transfers. You pay fees which incentivise the miners to maintain the blockchain, but they compare favourably with the payment methods offered by traditional sportsbooks. Bitcoin transaction fees are a fraction of what many trade financial institutions will charge, especially for international wire transfers.
Bitcoin holders in Nigeria do not have to pay for the never-ending list of charges that banks thrust upon their account holders. Some cryptocurrency exchanges in Nigeria promise 0% fees or inclusive rates, which amount to far lower annual costs than the costs accrued by a bank account.
With Bitcoin betting, bettors do not need to worry about the cost of converting Naira to place bets with international betting platforms - they can simply purchase Bitcoin with Naira from an exchange or other platform and start betting
At Cloudbet all you need is a credit card to get started.
This is a much smoother process than what many people usually have to go through in order to place bets on international platforms.
Best odds and highest limits
The Cloudbet sportsbook offers unbeatable value odds - the fairest odds - and unrivalled betting limits of up to 36 BTC/BCH.
Players can enjoy pre-game and live Bitcoin betting on a huge range of sports including all the leading European soccer leagues - the English Premier League, the Budesliga, La Liga and Serie A - and the Champions and Europa League competitions once the domestic campaigns have been settled.
American sports coverage includes the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, UFC, PGA Golf, and ATP tennis, to name a few.
You can check out all the available soccer markets Cloudbet has to offer here.
Speed of transactions
Not only is it cheap to transfer bitcoin, it is also relatively fast compared to many of the standard payment methods offered by traditional bookmakers. In general. a transaction will take around 20 minutes, depending on how busy the Bitcoin network is, but the beauty of the system is that you have full access to your withdrawal transaction - by simply exploring the Bitcoin blockchain - providing complete transparency. Imagine asking a regular bookmaker to allow you to have open access to their payment system to view the status of a withdrawal.
It can take days for a local bank to settle a transaction in Nigeria - and even longer if a transaction is flagged by a bank. Withdrawals on Bitcoin betting platforms are usually a lot faster than on traditional betting platforms as there are fewer parties who have to process it.
Bitcoin is the #1 searched for term on Google in Nigeria
Nigeria also has the most active bitcoin traders in Africa, due in part to the billions of dollars in remittance flows that take place every year.
As the years go by, more Nigerians choose Bitcoin for its cheaper rates and faster speeds than traditional remittance operators.
Due to the fact that Cloudbet operates on the blockchain, and does not rely on transacting with traditional payment platforms, it means its operating cost base is far lower than if it was a traditional fiat currency sportsbook. What that means for Cloudbet customers is that they get to reap the rewards of those cost savings rather than being charged more to help cover the operator's expenses.
How does that play out for Cloudbet customers? In the sportsbook, it means Cloudbet can offer better odds than traditional sportsbooks, if not the best odds in the market. And while most every operator may make a claim to that, Cloudbet prefers to think of these as the fairest odds - with no hidden fees, or extra charges built into commissions. Margin is what a sportsbook traditionally factors into its odds to ensure it remains a viable business. Cloudbet is even willing to offer its bitcoin sportsbook players certain bets at zero margin - meaning Cloudbet takes nothing for the risk of agreeing to take your bet.
For our leading bitcoin casino players - in which we offer a selection of table games allowing you to bet with bitcoin on Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat, for example; as well as a wide range of live table games and bitcoin slots - it means we can on occasion award bonuses such as Free Spins on slot machines or the latest Roulette offering from some of the best bitcoin casino operators.
Disadvantages of betting with bitcoin
One issue that has long-haunted bitcoin is the argument that the digital token may well work as a store of value, but as a transactional cryptocurrency it suffers from huge fluctuations in price. This means that on any given day - depending on whether the price of bitcoin has moved higher or lower - either person on each side of a transaction has the potential to lose out heavily - while the person on the other side wins.
In an effort to tackle this, stablecoins have been created. The largest by far in terms of volume transacted and in total market capitalisation is USDT, which has its value pegged to the US dollar.
Minimum wage requirements
In 2019, Cloudbet lowered its sports betting limits to just 10 Satoshi to include players that are keen to try betting with cryptocurrency but want to start by placing small bets. If you’re not familiar, you can read about Satoshi’s in one of our previous blog posts - but at the current bitcoin price at the time of writing, 10 Satoshi is valued at just USD0.001, or 0.381638 Naira. Put it another way, it will cost you 10,000 Sats to purchase just USD1.029 - which translates to around 392 Naira.
Transactions only in cryptocurrencies
Cloudbet does not offer any fiat currency transfer/payment options - but this is because we strive to maintain our lowest fees and to pass on the benefits to our users.
Does Cloudbet offer a bitcoin bonus?
When you make your first deposit with Cloudbet, we’ll give you a bitcoin bonus that matches the amount you deposited, up to a total of 5 BTC, or 1000 USDT.
How can I buy bitcoin in Nigeria?
There are many options (both international and local) that can be used to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Nigeria. NairaEx is one of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in Nigeria, with a track record of providing quick and easy withdrawals for its users.
New visitors to the platform go through a simple process to get their Bitcoin, registering and verifying their ID to sign up to the platform, create an order after logging in, and receive their Bitcoin through an automated system.
Okex also makes it possible to purchase Bitcoin and other popular tokens at competitive rates. With Okex, you can benefit from a wide range of cryptocurrencies and extra liquidity from a worldwide customer base.
But if you want to get gaming immediately, opening a Cloudbet account will allow you to buy crypto directly via our partnership with MoonPay. This allows you to buy either bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum or USDT and get playing straight away.
How to create a Cloudbet account from Nigeria
A few simple steps is all it takes to create an account with Cloudbet:
1) Enter an email address that is valid;
2) Choose a password that is safe and secure;
3) Confirm the date of your birth;
4) Check your email and hit the confirmation to activate your account;
5) Select your cryptocurrency of choice, and you’re ready to go make that first deposit.
How to deposit at Cloudbet
1) Copy your Cloudbet Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency) wallet deposit address;
2) From your personal wallet, select to send and enter the Cloudbet wallet address;
3) Wait for the transaction to be confirmed, which will be reflected in your updated Cloudbet account balance.
At Cloudbet we aim to raise the game. Raise yours today by joining thousands of others at Cloudbet, the leading bitcoin sportsbook and casino operator.