The name Dotun Ajegbile is legendary to the Nigerian sports betting landscape just as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka are icons of Nigerian, and indeed African literature. His pioneering work during the early days of sports betting in Nigeria along with a few other visionaries was the foundation on which the present day success of the industry is built.
The amiable Chairman/ CEO of Betland Gaming Nigeria recently had a chat with All Sports Predictions on the Nigerian betting industry and the Betland brand’s plan to engage Nigerians.
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ASP: How long has the Betland brand been operating in Nigeria?
DA: This brand was originally launched in 2013 but stopped operations in 2015 due to management issues. After being licensed by the Lagos State Lotteries Board to engage in the business of Sports-betting in the state.
ASP: What has been your experience of the betting industry in Nigeria over the years?
DA: I have been in this industry for over a decade now and I have experienced a lot about customers’ journey from solely reliance channel to multiple channels including web, mobile and now USSD.
ASP: What are the unique offerings that will drive punters to your platform?
DA: Our unique offerings include but not limited to the following:
- Up to 250% bonus on Multiple selections
- Up to 30X your cashback (CUT 1) if one game cuts your ticket (a first in the industry)
- N1,000 FREE PLAY (No Deposit Bonus)
- Up to N100k worth of Birthday Bonus each day to celebrate our punters on their birthday.
- 100% Welcome Bonus, up to 200k for every new customer on our website.
- Easy funding in all our shops nationwide
- Fastest Payout of winnings. Operation “PAY YOURSELF”
- And lots more
ASP: What are your plans concerning the physical presence of your brand across Nigeria?
DA: As we speak, we have the most experienced sports betting team in Nigeria and we have done this before and we know how best to get this done. We are strategically positioned in all the nooks and crannies of the country and our representatives are on the field in all the six geo-political zones doing what they know how best to do.
ASP: What are the challenges of operating in the Nigerian terrain?
DA: The challenges of operating here in Nigeria are enormous but I would talk briefly on the major ones here:
- GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS
A complete overhaul of the regulatory environment is required to enhance the oversight and improve the inconsistency of enforcement of license generation, payment of levies and revenue generation. Both the federal and state governments need to properly regulate and grow the gaming industry if it is to compete with that of the rest of the world.
- FOREIGN EXCHANGE
The weakening of the Nigerian naira has placed a severe strain on businesses in Nigeria and sport betting is not left out. The hardware and software providers are from foreign countries and we need to pay them more than we bargained for due to the unstable nature of our currency against the dollar.
- CYBER- SECURITY
At Betland, we provide safe and secure gaming environment for our customers, which is vital to our continued existence and success in the gaming industry.
However, the growing concern on online games especially with the increase use of electronic channels for gaming is a beautiful challenge.
We will continue to safeguard our customers until the end, that is a promise and we would keep it.
The major challenge for us operators is the interpretation of what constitutes net gaming revenue; this has remained unclear over the years and largely inconsistent.
From the global perspective on sports-betting regulations, it has the tendency if clearly regulated, to be a major sector for revenue generation for the government. This has not been the case, as the issue of multiple taxation and licensing continues to plague us.
ASP: What plans does your brand have for the Nigerian market?
DA: We are already creating 1,000 new entrepreneurs within the next 3 months and by 12 months; we would have more than 6,000 of them creating new wealth for themselves and their families.
- We also plan to help our punters make informed decisions before placing their bets by constantly engaging them on the best course of action to follow from time to time.
- We would be raising the industry bar up by a notch, as we would solve the many challenges our punters face on a daily basis.
ASP: What is your assessment of the impact of the sports betting industry on the Nigerian economy?
DA: The impact has been a positive one in general as we have more people getting engaged in paid employment, increase revenue for the government has been witnessed, partnerships has been born between the Telcos, mobile payment platforms, etc.
In addition to that, the data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) indicates that there has been an increase in mobile penetration from 35% – 50% in the last three years.
It has also provided a boost for the base of gaming users who largely are relatively unemployed and under-employed in the face of the recent economic conditions witnessed in the country.
Finally, The Business Monitor International (BMI) research forecast 182m mobile users in 2021 from the current 153m with the expectation that as the number increases, so will the number of online players increase.
ASP: What is your message to Punters out there?
DA: Bet responsibly, nothing is too sure… betting is for entertainment purposes only.
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