Online gaming has over 1 billion players globally, and among this number are the Nigerians who
enjoy gaming as a top leisure activity. The Nigerian gaming industry is estimated to be worth
over $128 million by 2023.
To keep Nigerian gaming enthusiasts engaged, game developers constantly reinvent games to
offer refreshing and unique experiences to players, even on mobile. Mobile devices originally
hosted online games, as people used it then to kill time. But today, players have access to a
variety of games on their mobile phones.
Online games have quickly garnered attention and become rapidly popular in Nigeria. Nigerians
troop into online casino sites and other European gambling sites to bet on games.
In this article, we’ll do a deep dive into the Boom of Online gaming in Nigeria, as we understand
why online gaming is rising fast in the entertainment industry and why it’s a favorite.
Why do Nigerans enjoy online gaming?
The global mobile gaming industry is thriving in Nigeria as it does around the world. Gaming
enthusiasts play mobile games for a number of other reasons, including to destress, pass time,
and accomplishment of completing a challenge.
The data found, suggests that mobile will top TV in terms of screen time, with gamers spending
6.5 hours weekly on gaming apps. It also indicated that 78% of players use the app daily. Most
participants admit to gaming to pass time.
Another clear advantage mobile gaming has over devices like TV or PCs is that it can be taken
everywhere. In Nigeria where 170 million people use mobile, based on their cellular
subscriptions, mobile gaming will eventually get its significant customer segment.
Popular Online Games Nigerians Play
The Nigerian gaming market is mostly dominated by millennials who form a demographic of
players, developers, designers, creators, and distributors who have contributed to the creation of
this multi-million dollar market in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s online gaming market is worth more than $41 million, with online gaming dominating
the bigger segment of this growing industry.
So, what online games are Nigerans playing?
Many Nigerians prefer to play Blackjack online, and thankfully the Grand Rush Online Casino
allows them to play this game from anywhere at any time.
This option aided the popularization of this game among Nigerians, as they can enjoy the
blackjack casino experience without overpaying at luxurious brick-and-mortar casinos.
Online slots appeal to Nigerians because they are easier to play than other table games and they
offer lots of entertainment. This game requires a minimal amount of steak, making them suitable
for beginners and experienced gamers too.
Nigerian gamers can find free slots on the internet where they can play without wagering with
money. Some popular online slots in Nigeria are Gonzo’s Quest, Jurassic Park, Twin Spin, White
King, the Invincible Man, Fire Joker and Mermaids Millions, etc.
Online slots are for Nigerians who love games of chance characterized by low budgets, high-
quality graphics, and high payout rates.
Dota 2 is one of Nigeria’s best-selling video games. In this multiplayer online arena game,
players control a “hero” with special abilities.
Players can join a team of 2-5 players and compete against other teams to occupy a base camp on
the map. Each squad must defend their base from the opposition.
Dota’s developers update this game regularly with more exciting features, placing it among
today’s best multiplayer arena video games.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Fortnite Battle Royale is another favorite amongst Nigerian gamers. It is a free online game that
features 100 players competing for the top position, and 3 million players can play
simultaneously at any time.
Battle Royale brings fresh and interesting elements, as players need to build walls and collect
elements to keep advancing. You could play this game solo or in a group.
League of Legends
League of Legends is one of the oldest games in the Market and another favorite for millions of
Nigerians, who enjoy this game for its mode scenes, graphics, and animations that rival its
This game is popular in Nigeria, with a Nigerian team competing in the African League
Championship Series in 2020.
Factors Contributing To The Growth Of Online Gaming In Nigeria
The gaming industry in Nigeria is growing rapidly, with more people showing interest in mobile
games and esports. Additionally, the growing economy allows for disposable income for games
to fund things like video games.
But, what else is contributing to the growth of online gaming in Nigeria?
Access To Technology
The entry of technological infrastructure to Nigeria, preceded the buying of smartphones and
computers by Nigerians who have sustainable livelihoods. This in turn paved the way for the
gaming industry to thrive in the country.
Online Multiplayer Games
Online gaming allows for the use of the Internet to stream video games, creating a space where
people can play with friends or users from outside Nigeria. This is what gives online multiplayer
games their popularity.
Gambling is another popular form of gaming in Nigeria, and the recent legislating of this sector
offline and online, has allowed the industry to grow.
Although there are some regulations in place, they mostly affect providers. One of such
regulations is that Nigerian companies can’t establish online casinos, but offshore operators can
offer these services to Nigerian customers.
Sports betting became a massive industry in Nigeria over the years, because it formed a core part
of the culture of a country that loves to celebrate sports.
Currently, there are over 6 million active sports bettors in Nigeria, actively contributing to a
market that generates up to $2 billion which will make up 10% of the country’s national budget
in 2020. Nigerians love to bet the most on football odds, then checking basketball results,
athletics competitions, and boxing matches.
73% of Nigerians have a smartphone, a demographic that has encouraged the growth of mobile
gaming in the country over the years. What makes smartphone games appealing to gamers is that
they are cheaper alternatives to console and computer games.
Most game apps are free to download and cost a few dollars in subscription, which means
gamers who aren’t buoyant can access them. Mobile phones are effectively changing the face of
gaming in Nigeria, to make it more accessible and convenient for everybody.
Online casino games advanced the popularity of online gaming, and gamers can access them
from mobile phones and tablets, making iGaming popular in Nigeria.
Furthermore, game developers can express themselves better through casino games, allowing
them to come up with more immersive games. This is why gamers enjoy betting games on
online betting platforms like Betway, because they can access a wide range of games.
In addition to aesthetically appealing games, tech-savvy Nigerian gamers show more interest in
other factors like slot game’s Return To Player, as they prefer games that offer higher Return To
Rise of Competitive Gaming, PC, and Console
The growing eSports industry has made competitive gaming, PC, and Console more appealing.
eSports on the global gaming scene is an emerging industry, but it has already generated
$1billion in revenue, witho over 433 million gamers worldwide.
Nigerian innovators wish to make eSports a competitive form of gaming and as a spectator sport.
Stakeholders have already established the Nigerian Esports League as an official eSports League
Nigerian iGaming Model
The expanding iGaming market also plays a major role in sustaining the Nigerian gaming
industry. Nigeria has the resources to recreate on its shores, the lucrative iGaming models in
Europe and some North American states.
The term iGaming covers online casino, poker and sports betting activities. As a technologically
innovative market it offers versatile gaming experiences, updates traditional roulette numbers to
suit a modern audience, and provides an immersive thrill of playing real money games like poker
The success of iGaming in Nigeria, precedes expansion into other tech markets like
cryptocurrency. This is characterized by play to earn gaming experiences that reward gamers
with crypto tokens.
Rising Popularity Of Online Gambling in Nigeria
The sustainability of Nigeria’s communications infrastructure and improvement over the years,
and ensuring better mobile and internet service for its populace is one of the things that has aided
the rise of online gambling in the country.
Accessibility to mobile phones has caused a widespread participation for amusement on the
Internet, including Internet gaming.
In Nigeria alone, UK operators have been privileged to experience success in marketing to
potential Nigerian online gamblers, as they continue to enjoy the patronage of the increasing
number of Nigerian gamers who register on online gambling accounts daily.
Will Online Gaming Be Relevant in The Future?
Since its prominence during the pandemic, online gaming has grown tremendously popular
among Nigerians too. The current numbers disclose that the popularity of mobile games and its
rapid growth, shows no sign of slowing down.
43% of Nigerians using the internet and the access and improvement of internet-enabled
gadgets, the online gaming industry won’t be losing relevance anytime soon.
Also, with the competition between local and international operators to attract more Nigerian
gamers to try online gaming and all of its new evolutions, this industry will be driven to the next