#Sports #Betting #Industry #Nigeria #Broken
Online sports betting in Nigeria has not only come to stay; it is on the upward trajectory.
The industry has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the last decade. Since the country signed off on online betting sites, there has been a constant influx of betting sites looking for their share of Africa’s biggest online betting market.
However, the online sports betting industry is fraught with various shortcomings that could be detrimental to the thriving industry in the long run, if not curtailed.
What are some of these challenges the industry is faced with?
Customer data protection and underage gambling are the two most common problems in the online betting industry in Nigeria.
Overtime, there have been cases of players losing money lodged in their betting accounts to the nefarious activities of cyber criminals on different betting sites. Betting companies have been accused of not doing enough to ensure a safe betting platform for their players.
Two reasons have been fingered as the main factors in the proliferation of minors taking to online betting. The first is the unchecked activities of the agents of betting companies and the lip service paid to identify verification by betting companies.
So, are there practical ways to remedy the situation? Let’s take a look at some of the talking points.
Proper identity verification
Most bookmakers operating in the online gambling industry have only paid cosmetic attention to age and identity verification. This regulation has not been strictly enforced.
To stem the tide of underage gambling, betting companies have to strictly enforce age and identity verification as required by law both online and in their retail outlets.
When this is done, underage gambling will be reduced to the nearest minimum or totally eradicated.
Safe payment methods
The issue of customer identity or data theft and the subsequent loss of money is another sticking point in the online gambling business in the country.
Some Nigerians who own betting accounts have complained of missing funds from their betting accounts and sometimes the bank accounts linked to their online betting accounts. And when this happens, there is usually little or nothing that is done by the bookies.
To mitigate this problem, safe payment methods and utmost data encryption will go a long way in protecting the data of their customers.
The Role of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission
Recently, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission has had to weigh in on settling disputes between betting companies and their customers regarding settlements of winnings.
The agency must not limit its role to dispute resolution alone. It must enforce the law to allow for sanity in the online betting industry.
The Commission has to take a stand and get the betting companies to play by the rule book or risk facing the music.
Only then, can we truly have a safe online betting industry in Nigeria.