Statistics indicate that over 36% of the adult Nigerian population gamble or place bets on sports. Moreover, over 50% of them reported this entertainment as their daily pastime. The quick evolution of online casinos in the country and beyond makes gambling more accessible, which has benefits and drawbacks. Of course, now risk fans can enjoy risky websites wherever they are. On the other hand, such accessibility applies to higher addiction rates, which are a global challenge, affecting the overall population’s well-being.
First of all, it’s worth noting that sports betting and some forms of gambling are legal in the country. The latter include lotteries, slot machines, etc. However, card and dice games are prohibited in Nigeria. Multiple online casinos are available for residents – the local government requires licensing from responsible bodies, but there are no other particular requirements for gambling operators. Therefore, entering the country’s gaming market is simple, which is why this entertainment is so accessible.
As mentioned, over 36% of people have gambled at least once, while over half of respondents who confirmed participation in online casinos said they play regularly. It’s a significant figure, considering the country’s population is over 200 million. Many Nigerians consider online gambling a harmful pastime, but the addiction rate also grows. Statistics prove that the prevalence of this disease can reach 8%, which is a high indicator as compared to other countries. Therefore, increasing user awareness of the negative gambling consequences is essential.
It’s important to consider that online casinos are primarily entertainment rather than a source of income. Players must be attentive to their time and money on gaming websites. Self-control is the key skill to develop in casino games and sports betting – they are both risky, and there’s always the possibility of losing the entire bankroll. The ability to stop in time is critical for players; in such an instance, they won’t exceed the initial limits and won’t spend everything on gambling.
Moreover, playing only on reliable websites with appropriate licensing is important. Bodies like MGA and Curaçao require their licensees to provide fair and transparent services to their members. Compliance with these principles requires online casinos to guarantee a secure gambling environment and timely payouts for winners.
Overall, every market player should consider responsible gambling principles, which are the key to reducing harm from this entertainment. And while operators are forced to follow the rules, players often exceed money limits, get into debt, and forget about everything except casino games. In this case, it becomes necessary to introduce additional measures to prevent gambling addiction.
Preventing the disease is easier than long-lasting treatment, so everyone who wants to play in online casinos or place bets in Nigeria should know the first gambling addiction symptoms. Check these points and remember them:
- Anxiety that can even lead to depression
- Lack of socialization and trouble with communication
- Loss of interest in all activities except gambling
- Constant thoughts about spinning the reel or placing bets
- Feeling the victory is close, motivating players to invest more
- Lack of self-control on gambling & betting websites
These are the “red flags” that should alert every gambler. Of course, the best way is to quit a casino website and forget about this hobby, but it’s often not as simple as it looks. In such an instance, a self-exclusion program can become a perfect solution.
GamStop is indeed a widely recognized self-exclusion program designed to limit access to UK-licensed gambling and betting websites. Its primary purpose is to support individuals dealing with gambling issues by offering information about support groups and future therapy options. One key aspect of GamStop is that it effectively prohibits participation in online casinos for users who have voluntarily enrolled.
However, it’s crucial to consider the process of avoiding GamStop completely, because while self-exclusion programs like GamStop play a vital role in promoting responsible gambling, they should also provide an avenue for users to regain control of their gaming activities when they feel ready.
Currently, while the Nigerian gambling market is growing, the self-exclusion program is unavailable for country residents, and local regulations are the main barrier. Nigeria lacks appropriate gambling legislation: the industry is not as well-controlled as in the UK and other developed countries. Moreover, the gambling taxation system still has gaps, so the Nigerian government must cope with this challenge to allow GamStop to enter the iGaming market. In any case, the availability of a self-exclusion program would significantly benefit local gamblers, and here’s why:
- Increasing awareness of possible negative consequences
- Timely prevention of gambling addiction
- Resources and support lines for affected individuals
It’s impossible to suspend or cancel the work of GamStop: once a user registers in the program, it will restrict access to gambling platforms for the chosen period. During this time, players can seek assistance from support groups or individual specialists.
Even though online casinos still lack regulation within the country, problem players can take advantage of support lines. Child Help-Line is the most widespread resource, assisting with different issues, including gambling. Users can contact it 24/7 and get comprehensive answers and appropriate support.
GambleAlert is another body formed to increase awareness of responsible gambling principles and provide timely treatment for gambling addicts. This non-profit organization also aims to prevent underage users from playing and inform them of the possible negative outcomes.
Nigerian players should comply with responsible gambling principles and don’t hesitate to ask for help if necessary. Addiction is a common disorder, and its rate is growing globally. Therefore, everyone experiencing the first symptoms should contact specialized support groups or use self-exclusion programs. Even though GamStop is currently unavailable for Nigerian casino fans, they can take advantage of other similar tools. NetNanny, GamBan, and Betfilter are the software that can assist in coping with gambling addiction.
Gambling addiction is indeed a global challenge that continues to affect individuals worldwide, including Nigeria. While it may not have been formally classified as a mental health disorder for many years, it has become a prevalent issue in Nigerian news and beyond. This problem underscores the importance of promoting responsible gambling principles to mitigate the impact on affected individuals.
In addition to responsible gambling promotion, implementing self-exclusion programs like GamStop plays a vital role in addressing this issue. These programs provide individuals with a proactive way to manage their gambling habits and seek support when needed.