Gambling is not always the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Nigeria, but with gambling becoming legalized in many countries around the world, the West African country is not waiting to be told what to do.
The Nigerian government has legalized lottery and sports betting in the country, but other forms of gambling are taking their turns to get approved.
Ayo Arise, former chairman of the Senate Committee on Capital Market, disclosed during an interview that lottery is “for the advancement and progress of this nation.”
The federal government has approved Quick Lotto lottery nationwide, as well as sports betting, other forms of betting waiting for legalization in Africa’s most populous country include:
- Casino gambling
- Table card games
- Machine slot betting
- Interactive gaming bets
A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reveals that gambling will become a household word in Nigeria within the next five years.
The country has the potential to become the fastest-growing African country in terms of gambling very soon – and all kinds of online and casino gamblings will take centre stage. Nigeria is not the only African country to take the lead in gambling in Africa. South Africa and Kenya are also rising up fast in the gambling arenas.
National governments everywhere derive huge revenues from gambling. These revenues are used for national development, economic infrastructure, social amenities and other progressive projects in the country. The federal government of Nigeria says they are not going to be left behind in the benefits gambling can bring. To underscore this assertion, kiosks for sports betting are springing up everywhere in the country.
A KPMG report reveals nearly 60 million Nigerians aged 18-40 engage in active sports betting. The report goes on to say the average gambler spends about N3,000 or $15 to place stakes on sports betting. This translates to about 730 billion Naira being spent on sports betting annually. To this extent, Lagos and Abuja and other South-West states are setting up betting shops in every corner street on daily basis. Most of the betters place their bets on football games, with many of them saying gaming distracts them from the curse of unemployment.
Analysts say a combined revenue of $37 billion may be generated from online betting in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in 2018. The tax potential from this revenue is equally opening the eyes of the governments to the need for proper gambling regulations.
California’s Pechanga tribe aren’t sold on the benefits that a regulated American sports betting industry could bring.
In fact, the chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Marc Marcarro, has revealed that the projected benefits, discussed at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) last week, have been oversold.
Marcarro spoke at the G2E, where the American Gaming Association (AGA) who is behind the push to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), also discussed the topic.
While AGA has previously reported that the illegal sports betting industry is worth more than $USD150 billion per year, Marcarro stated that the figure is derived from reports performed around 20 years ago.
“We’re all looking at the same limited amount of data, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot there,” he said.
“We need some new studies, we need some analytics, we need something quantifiable.”
Meanwhile, a recent report by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming found that a regulated sports betting industry could be worth more than $6 billion a year, with just over 30 states likely to amend legislation if PASPA is repealed. The report also found that if all 50 states legalised sports betting, it would be worth between $7 and almost $16 billion.
The report also found that the illegal betting industry is likely worth around $50 to $60 billion, a number significantly less than the AGA’s findings.
California is among several other states which have already amended legislation authorising sports betting, should the Supreme Court approve the repeal spearheaded by the state of New Jersey.
But the Pechangas have reportedly gotten in the way of the state attempting to legalise and regulate online poker since they believe one of the biggest online poker sites in the world, PokerStars, should be banned from any future markets. The tribe believes the company should be banned from operating in the state due to its “bad actor” status, which means it continued to accept Americans after the enactment of the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Marcarro said he wants more research done before tribes make a decision about whether to support any regulatory changes.
He added that his experience with the online poker regulation process has pushed him to question everything when it comes to a gambling expansion.
Marcarro also revealed that he doesn’t believe regulating the sports wagering industry would be beneficial to tribal casinos, which legally operate in America and act as a primary source of revenue for the tribes.
“There were wild estimates out there about the world of liquidity of these things, and by last year [online poker estimates] were down by 75 percent,” he said.
He added that he wouldn’t be surprised if the sports betting operators reported a similar decline in numbers after the initial regulation changes.
He addressed suggestions that sportsbooks attract people to American casinos, stating that the claim remains “anecdotal” and still needs to be proven by proper research.
Convincing American tribes to get on board has been the toughest feat thus far for the American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC), which is an organisation created by the AGA that is responsible for fighting for the repeal to allow individual states to legalise sports betting.
The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), the independent regulatory body responsible for the country’s tribes, announced it would be supporting the ASBC a few months ago. However, the NIGA then released a statement clarifying that it had joined the group to learn more about the issue and provide a voice for American tribes.
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There’s plenty of changes happening this week with the American Gaming Association attempting to convince tribes to join the fight against the sports betting ban. In Japan, a regulatory framework for new casinos could be delayed due to a snap election. Meanwhile, the Philippines may see an Australian-backed casino reopen soon. Find out more below.
Australian gambling merger derailed
A merger between two of Australia’s biggest gambling companies has ben derailed after the Federal Court upheld an appeal by an Australian watchdog. Tabcorp and Tatts agreed to merge over a year ago but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission noted several issues with the $11.3 billion agreement. While Tabcorp bypassed the standard regulatory approval process and went straight to the Australian Competition Tribunal, the ACCC launched an appeal following the approval of the deal. The case has now been sent back to the Tribunal for review.
The Australian state of Victoria is attempting to alleviate problem gambling issues with new reforms. Under the new legislation, gambling advertising will be banned in public places, such as billboards and public transport stations, while cash out limits at poker machine venues have been capped at $500.
American casino ripped off following hurricane
The New Jersey sports betting case is heating up in the US, with the American Gaming Association set to convince American tribes, which run land-based casinos in the US, to join the fight against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 which bans sports betting in nearly all US states. An AGA representative will speak at a conference on Thursday alongside the National Indian American Association chairman, Ernie Stevens Jnr.
Florida is in the process of cleaning up, following the devastating Hurricane Irma. While the land-based gambling industry came out relatively unscathed, the Mardi Gras Casino had its gaming floor ripped out due to the Category 4 storm. While the casino is closed indefinitely, the nearby Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach is allowing players to use Mardi Gras loyalty coupons to play the slots. While Mardi Gras casino has labelled the casino operator as an opportunist, Gulfstream said it is helping players out and would expect any casino to do the same.
Scientific Games has announced it is acquiring NYX Gaming in a move which could properly prepare the company for a legalised sports betting industry in the US. The Las Vegas-based company announced the $USD631 million deal, which will see the integration of NYX’s sportsbook among other products. Given the New Jersey sports betting case is set to be determined in early 2018, the company could be one of the first to supply sports betting services to the country.
Problem gambling rates are down in Germany
Germany is facing a huge hurdle in its efforts to legalise online gambling, with several of the 16 individual states hesitating when it comes to implementing the proposed Interstate Treaty. Saxony-Anhalt Finance Minister, André Schröder, warned that the treaty, which was introduced in 2012 to create a secure online gambling environment, requires all 16 individual states to adopt the legislation by January 1, 2018, or it will fail. The Minister is urging states to act quickly, with international gambling operators already looking to enter the German market.
A study in Germany has shown that problem gambling is declining in the country. The Drug and Addiction Report 2017, released on Monday, recorded a decline in the rate of problem gamblers. The survey questioned 11,500 respondents and found 0.42 percent were problem gamblers, while 0.37 percent were classed as severe pathological gamblers. These figures are significantly lower than the 0.69 percent and 0.82 percent figures recorded, respectively, in 2013.
Macau could face revenue decline
A Macau court has determined that information regarding junket operators and individual casino operators cannot be concealed from interested parties. The Macau’s Court of Second Instance overturned the decision of the city’s Administrative Court. While a list of junket operators in Macau is made public, who they are working with is not. An unnamed attorney sued the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) after the regulator refused to hand over the list of casinos which used junket operators, claiming the list was classified.
Macau is doing incredibly well in terms of gaming revenue and has even managed to bounce back after the typhoon last month. But Beijing is escalating its anti-corruption campaign yet again, which could have detrimental impacts on the gaming industry. The autonomous region has experienced revenue growth in recent months, following a hit due to China’s anti-gambling crackdown over the past two years. But the recent restrictions, including caps on ATM limits when using UnionPay, is set to cause a revenue decline, according to analysts.
Casino regulation could be delayed in Japan
All Japanese lawmakers have been talking about is casino regulation, but according to local media reports a snap election could derail the process until later next year. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is reportedly considering an October election to strengthen power in the Diet, but analysts have said the move will delay the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill debates until 2018.
Meanwhile, Genting Singapore Plc has announced it has opened an office in Tokyo, Japan. The casino operator has previously expressed interest in investing in an Integrated Resort once the appropriate legislation has been implemented. Given reports of a snap election, the casino operator may have jumped the gun here.
Barbuda looks to gambling to save island
Hurricane Irma didn’t just impact Florida, it devastated several Caribbean islands including Barbuda. At the time of writing, all 1700 residents are living on the sister island of Antigua as the Category 5 storm damaged around 95 percent of the island’s structures. Now the country wants to re-regulate online gambling to help rebuild the country. Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the US, Ronald Sanders, said that when America cracked down on Internet gambling without consulting the island, it cost the two islands $21 million in revenue a year. If the US paid it back, the island could rebuild.
Philippines casino back on track after attack
Casino traffic has increased at Resorts World Manila, after a deadly attack which left 38 dead three months ago. A lone gunman stormed the casino in the Philippines and set fire to gaming tables, resulting in the deaths of 37 people. The man was then shot by police. The casino was shut down for almost a month and then reopened to the general public. According to local media, the casino is recording traffic of 26,000 people a day – 2000 less than before the attack but an improvement in recent months.
A Philippines casino which is owned by an Australian company is set to reopen soon, according to an Australian Security Exchange media announcement. The Casablanca Casino in Angeles City was shut down last year after Frontier Capital Management failed to pay requisite cash. The Philippines and Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has given the company several chances to get the money so venue can reopen.
THE US is gearing up for a legalised sports betting industry, provided the Supreme Court rules in favour of the New Jersey sports betting case.
But it isn’t as simple as repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA).
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is aware it needs to get the nation’s native tribes on board and is hoping to persuade them at the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) conference on Thursday in Phoenix.
Sports betting is already on the agenda for the native American tribes, which run land-based casinos in several US states.
The NIGA announced it would be joining the American Sports Betting Coalition, which is an organisation created by the AGA to support the case against PASPA.
However, a week after it announced it would be joining, the NIGA released a statement clarifying its position on PASPA, stating that it did not support repeal of the federal law, and joined to provide a tribe perspective.
A representative for the AGA will speak alongside the NIGA chairman, Ernie Stevens Junior, in a panel on Thursday, called Sports Betting in the US: What it Means for Tribal Gaming.
The AGA said it would “discuss how the two organisations can continue to work together to overturn the failing federal ban on sports betting” in a media announcement.
The conference comes as the debate heats up over whether the federal law should be repealed, a case spearheaded by the state of New Jersey.
A decision by the US Supreme Court is likely to be determined in 2018, and if New Jersey wins (likely on the basis that PASPA is unconstitutional) the choice to legalise sports betting will be up to the individual states.
Some states have already amended legislation or introduced a bill to amend state law to prepare for a potential win, while tribes are attempting to figure out how they fit in as they operate under federal tribal gaming law.
Tribes should support the repeal given some offshore online bookmakers currently ignore the ban and accept US players, which is the AGA’s main argument.
The ban doesn’t stop players from gambling online, it just pushes them to unregulated markets and blocks states, as well as tribes, from revenue opportunities a regulated industry offers.
Thursday’s panel may shed some light on whether tribes are leaning towards a regulated sports betting industry, however.
Scientific Games acquires NYX Gaming
Scientific Games has announced it is acquiring the NYX Gaming Group for $USD631 million, a deal which is being described as a move to prepare for a legalised sports betting industry in the US.
Scientific said in a press release that the takeover will further strengthen its “leadership position and ability to provide the broadest portfolio of content, technologies and digital products and services for its global Gaming and Lottery customers.”
But it also said that “Scientific Games will now be perfectly positioned to capitalise on future regulatory developments in real-money wagering and sports betting by adding NYX’s industry-leading OpenBet Sportsbook.”
“NYX’s digital Sportsbook can be seamlessly delivered throughout Scientific Games’ global gaming and lottery networks in existing and future regulated US and global markets,” Scientific added in the press release.
NYX CEO, Matt Davey has also shown interest in the US market “in both gaming and sports betting, and we are well positioned for this opportunity, as it develops.
By adding NYX, which already partners with Bet365 and William Hill, to its portfolio, Scientific has positioned the company to be prepared for a regulated sports betting industry and it could be the first among hundreds of suppliers to offer its services to Americans.