What are the rules for online bingo in Nigeria?
The traditional game of bingo is one of the oldest standing games today, having stood the test of surviving deceased and being passed down through the generations. Today’s modern game of bingo features many of the same gaming attributes of the original, but there’s been some key changes in the last century.
Today, the internet has transferred online gambling across the world, and in particular bingo. As the digital revolution continues to make technology widely available to people around the globe, more people and especially younger generations are exploring modern day online bingo from the comfort of their homes.
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 globally
It is thought that the very first games of bingo originate from 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 here, the game spread across Germany and France a couple of decades later. In France, the game was played by only wealthy men while in Germany, the game was used to help children learn to count.
Bingo was played a little differently in the US, in which it was a country fair game called ‘Beano’. The dealer would take numbered disks from an old cigar box and players would mark matching numbers on their cards with a bean. If you won, you would call out Beano!
Bingo influences from the United Kingdom
The UK is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to the bingo industry in which the game became a large part of British culture during World War I. At one time, there were over 1600 commercial bingo halls scattered across the UK, however online bingo is more popular with today’s consumers. 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 intrinsic part of the culture here that Brits have even developed their own Bingo language for calling out 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, in which many people choose to play bingo online. Nigerians usually use offshore providers to play online bingo as games that are wholly based on luck or chance in Nigeria are illegal.
That being said, Nigerians can safely play online bingo as long as the provider is overseas. There are many benefits to Nigerians of playing bingo online. Such benefits include:
Ease of access: While Nigerians cannot play bingo in their home country due to the law, they are able to easily access a variety of online games through offshore providers.
Gaming variety: Online bingo incorporates a number of technologies that enhance the gaming experience. As such, many online bingo games feature popular TV and movie themes.
Ease of Payment: Many online bingo providers now offer new ways to pay including e-wallets like PayPal or Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As a decentralized currency, Bitcoin gives players more anonymity and reduces the likelihood of financial fraud.
Gambling laws in Nigeria
Nigeria operates a strict policy when it comes to gambling, both online and offline. There are two federal acts that outline gambling activity - The Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act of 1977 and The Nigerian Criminal Code Act.
The Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act 1977
The Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act is a law which states that it is illegal for citizens in Nigeria to own or play on a gaming machine. If you are caught using a gaming machine in Nigeria you will be sentenced to one-year in prison. As well as this, all monies associated with such gaming activity can be taken by the Nigerian government.
This Act considers gaming machines to be a gambling/gaming device to encourage players to gamble money tokens in hope that they will win extra money.
The Nigerian Criminal Code Act
The Nigerian Criminal Code Act defines what are classed as legal and illegal gambling activities within Nigeria. The list of activities includes but is not limited to betting / pools, lotteries and a handful of land casinos.
The future of online Bingo in Nigeria
While gaming laws are incredibly strict in Nigeria, there are loopholes in the law that mean Nigerian citizens are still able to enjoy online bingo if it is provided by an offshore company.
Given that Nigerians can still access such online bingo games from abroad, Nigerian citizens are contributing significantly to the global industry and benefit from all the latest online gaming technologies that enhance gameplay. The only people not benefitting from the online bingo industry in the Nigerian government.
However, for the Nigerians that love playing online bingo, the future is bright.