Sports Betting Sites Are The Most-Visited In Nigeria – Now Gov’t Wants To Tax Every Bet
The latest edition of the Alexa website ranking has a few surprises, especially for sports betting.
While there are repeat names, the list shows that Nigerians are either looking for information, buying stuff, placing bets or just streaming videos. Well, that’s pretty much anyone with a smartphone would do nowadays, it seems.
The ranking as at Thursday 19th December, 2019, shows that Nigerians log on to Google more frequently than any other website. That is closely followed by popular video streaming platform, YouTube. Third on the list, which comes as a little surprise, is Bet9ja.com.
The proliferation of sports betting has been prompted by an increase in internet penetration, thanks to the affordability of web-enabled devices. The way the sector has matured in the West African country is evident in Bet9ja2 as well making the top 50, claiming the 16th position.
But that’s not all. In a respective manner, 1xbet,ng and Sportbety.com occupy the 40th and 47th position respectively. Apart from betting sites, it is clear that the love of football and other games drive the visit of related information websites such as Livescore.com (21st andGoal.com (49).
Roughly, there are 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 who are actively involved in sports betting. The country’s largest-in-Africa population and high unemployment rates are also factors to thank.
The sports betting market in the West African country is estimated at USD 2 Bn, and is expected to grow on the drive pushed by the rapid spread of mobile phones.
Perhaps, this is the growth the Nigeria government is seeing that it revealed its plans to charge Value Added Tax (VAT). The tax which would be effected through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), would be on lottery and gaming activities.
While a decision is yet to be made, it is likely the law would be implemented. On one side, it could curb gambling addiction, and on the other, help the government generate more revenue.
According to Akin Alabi, the founder of one foremost betting form in Nigeria. Nairabet, the potential reduction in hoped-for winnings, will drive customers away from regulated operators into the territory of the unregulated.
Alabi, who is also a House of Representatives member-elect, opines that the FIRS should have consulted operators before taking the decision to impose 5 percent VAT and the automation of collection.
The emergence of a litany of sports betting firms in Nigeria has left almost every single street in the country with a betting outlet. Also, there are 169 mobile phones subscribers and 100 million internet users in the country. 80 percent of that figure are able to access the web on their phones.
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