Let’s take a look at the online bingo landscape in Nigeria and what the future success of the online bingo industry looks like.
The popularity of bingo around the world
It is believed that the very first bingo games originated in Italy around 1530. During this time the game was called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia” and was played every Saturday as an Italian community tradition. To this day, bingo is still played every Saturday in many parts of Italy.
From there, the game spread across Germany and France a few decades later. In France the game was only played by wealthy men while in Germany the game was used to help children learn to count.
Bingo was played a little differently in the United States, where it was a country fair game called ‘Beano’. The dealer would take numbered discs from an old cigar box and the players would mark the corresponding numbers on their cards with a bean. If you won, you would call Beano!
UK bingo influences
The UK is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to the bingo industry in which gambling became a big part of British culture during WWI. At one time there were over 1,600 commercial bingo halls scattered across the UK, however, online bingo is more popular with consumers today. To date, there are 3.5 billion bingo players in the UK.
Traditional bingo games in the UK revolve around 90 balls, but there are also games with 75 balls. Bingo is such an integral part of the culture here that the British have even developed their own bingo language for calling the numbers. Such examples include “two little ducks, 22” or “two fat ladies, 88”.
The popularity of bingo in Nigeria
The game of bingo is incredibly popular in Nigeria where many people choose to play bingo online. Nigerians generally use foreign providers to play bingo online, as games based entirely on luck or chance in Nigeria are illegal.
That being said, it is safe for Nigerians to play bingo online as long as the provider is overseas. There are many benefits to playing bingo online for Nigerians. These benefits include:
Access facility: Although Nigerians cannot play bingo in their home country due to the law, they can easily access a variety of online games through overseas providers.
Game variety: Online bingo incorporates a number of technologies that enhance the gaming experience. As such, many online bingo games feature popular television and movie themes.
Ease of payment: Many online bingo providers now offer new ways to pay including electronic wallets like PayPal or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As a decentralized currency, Bitcoin offers players more anonymity and reduces the risk of financial fraud.
Nigeria has a strict gambling policy, both online and offline. There are two federal laws that describe gambling activities – the Slot Machines (Prohibition) Act 1977 and the Nigerian Penal Code Act.
The Slot Machines Act 1977 (Prohibition)
The Slot Machines Act (Prohibition) is a law which states that it is illegal for Nigerian citizens to own or play on a slot machine. If you are caught using a slot machine in Nigeria, you will be sentenced to one year in prison. In addition to this, all monies associated with such gambling activity can be levied by the Nigerian government.
This law views gaming machines as a gaming / gaming device to encourage players to play money tokens in the hope that they will earn extra cash.
Nigerian Penal Code Law
The Nigerian Penal Code Act defines what is classified as legal and illegal gambling activities in Nigeria. The list of activities includes, but is not limited to betting / pools, lotteries, and a handful of land-based casinos.
The future of online bingo in Nigeria
While the gambling laws are incredibly strict in Nigeria, there are loopholes in the law that mean Nigerian citizens can still enjoy online bingo if it is provided by an offshore company.
Since Nigerians can still access these online bingo games from overseas, Nigerian citizens contribute significantly to the global industry and benefit from all the latest online gaming technology which improves gameplay. The only people who don’t benefit from the online bingo industry in the Nigerian government.
However, for Nigerians who enjoy playing bingo online, the future is bright.