Just like the English Premier League has its own title race, online betting sites in Nigeria have also been involved in an equally compelling battle for supremacy.
Traditional juggernauts, bet9ja still lead the way, but they are having to fend off increasingly formidable competition from the likes of SportyBet and BetKing.
Nigeria boasts one of the biggest betting markets in the world, with over a third of its 200 million-plus population actively involved in betting activities.
It is for this reason that numerous betting operators are continuously storming into the country, hoping to grab a share of the reported $2 billion per year market.
Nigerians have been gambling since long before independence, but it wasn’t until the turn of the century that sports betting really kicked off.
Most of the sports betting was initially done in the good old brick-and-mortar shops, with bet9ja and NairaBet being the forefathers of modern gambling in Nigeria.
Things quickly migrated into the online space, paving the path for more operators to enter the Nigerian Market.
Today, there are over 40 registered sports betting operators in the country.
While NairaBet has somewhat fallen away, bet9ja has shown impressive longevity, withstanding changing times and high-quality opposition to maintain its stronghold on top of the leaderboard.
Part of their dominance is down to the power of incumbency, but it is also as a result of their ability to adapt to the demands of a constantly evolving and rapidly growing market.
They may not have the near-monopoly they enjoyed 15 years ago, but they are still the go-to site for most Nigerian bettors.
In fact, some newbies and rookie bettors are still of the opinion that bet9ja is the only betting site in Nigeria!
The competition is spearheaded by Betking, which has rocketed into the exalted company of the very best betting sites in Nigeria within five years of existence.
Through super-aggressive marketing and clever brand positioning, betking has caught up with and overtaken older rivals like 1xBet and become the main challenger to Bet9ja as the No. 1 bookie in Nigeria. They have won over many Nigerian bettors with the depth of their betting markets, as highlighted in this Betking review.
They are very in-your-face with their advertising, filling up billboards, radio and TV ads.
Betking’s success is also due to their dedication to the retail part of the business. Many newer betting sites ignore the retail side of things and focus exclusively on their online services, but BetKing built up their retail presence, cementing their position as a proper Nigerian betting site.
It is not too dissimilar to how bet9ja started all those years ago.
And then comes SportyBet, renowned to have the highest odds in the market. Knowing that Nigerian bettors, like punters everywhere in the world, want to win big from very small money, SportyBet offers the eye-catching combination of ridiculously low minimum stake and super high odds. The company has reaped loads of dividends from this tactical masterclass.
Like Betking, they have taken great strides within just a few years of entering the market. And as word continues to spread about the high odds on SportyBet, trust Nigerian bettors to switch over to the site.
Competition is rife in the online betting scene. The likes of 1xBet and 22Bet occupy mid table positions, ready to strike should any of the frontrunners drop their guards, while new operators are entering the race all the time, keeping everyone on their toes.