Celebrity guests and Sport personalities, fans will mingle this weekend, as popular gambling company, BET9ja hosts card-carrying members of its own devotees’ team to some night of entertainment and rewards at the SS7 Lounge, Sapara Williams Close, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Supervisor of SS7 Lounge, Lola Adedeji, who said that all arrangements have been set in place to make the night a memorable one, included that the event will bring the number one bookmaker in Nigeria creme de la creme of the society.

“The Bet9ja Buffs’ Night Out has been specially packaged to bring together sport lovers, soccer stars in addition to entertainment celebs to possess fun and merry in a secure and peaceful ambience. Being Nigeria’s finest and largest bookmaker, Bet9ja cannot give anything less to their true supporters and patrons that have remained with them over the years,” she said.

She divulged that some of the personalities anticipated at the ceremony are ex-Nigerian internationals, Victor Ikpeba and Peter Rufai, NFF officials, Bet9ja’s CEO, Ayo Ojuroye, music stars, Jesse Jagz and Brymo as well as DJ Exclusive are among dignitaries expected in the event.

“At SS7 Lounge, we provide the perfect setting to watch sports, enjoy great food and drinks, and be cheerful – that is, if your team is a victor,” she enthused, including, “Don’t forget to join our Live Band Thursdays, Karaoke Friday Night, Old School Naija, which takes place every last Saturday of the month, and other special events.”

Details

Celeb guests and Sport personalities, fans will mingle this weekend, as popular gambling business, BET9ja hosts card-carrying members of its enthusiasts’ club to some night of amusement and rewards at the SS7 Lounge, Sapara Williams Close, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Boss Lola Adedeji, of SS7 Lounge, who said that all organizations have been put in spot to make the night a memorable one, included that the event will attract the creme de la creme of the society.

“The Bet9ja Enthusiasts’ Night Out has been specially packaged to bring together sport fans, football stars together with entertainment celebrities to have a great time and cheerful in a secure and peaceful ambience. Being Nigeria’s finest and biggest bookmaker, Bet9ja cannot give anything less to their loyal supporters and patrons that have remained with them over the years,” she said.

“At SS7 Lounge, we offer the ideal atmosphere to look at sports, enjoy great food and drinks, and be gay – that’s, in case your team is a winner,” she enthused, adding, “Don’t forget to join our Live Band Thursdays, Karaoke Friday Night, Old School Naija, which takes place every last Saturday of the month, and other special occasions.”

Details
Details

Celebrity guests and Sport personalities, buffs will mingle this weekend, as popular gaming firm, BET9ja hosts card-carrying members of its devotees’ team into a nighttime of rewards and entertainment at the SS7 Lounge, Sapara Williams Close, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Supervisor Lola Adedeji, of SS7 Lounge, who said that all arrangements have been set in place to make the night a memorable one, added that the event will bring the creme de la creme of the society.

“The Bet9ja Devotees’ Night Out has been specially packaged to bring together sport fans, football stars along with amusement celebs to get some fun and jolly in a secure and peaceful ambience. Being Nigeria’s greatest and largest bookmaker, bet9ja accounts cannot give anything less to their true fans and patrons that have stayed with them over time,” she said.

She divulged that some of the personas anticipated at the ceremony are ex-Nigerian internationals, Victor Ikpeba and Peter Rufai, NFF officials, Bet9ja‘s CEO, Ayo Ojuroye, music stars, Jesse Jagz and Brymo also as DJ Exclusive are among dignitaries expected at the big event.

“At SS7 Lounge, we provide the best feeling to look at sports, enjoy great food and drinks, and be gay – that’s, if your team is a victor,” she enthused, including, “Don’t forget to join our Live Band Thursdays, Karaoke Friday Night, Old School Naija, which takes place every last Saturday of the month, and other special events.”

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In the commercial nerve centre in Nigeria, Lagos, shanty wooden structures having several a satellite dish, a television as well as benches are common sight. These places, popularly called ‘seeing centres’, offer a bulk of the football-mad inhabitants in the city an opportunity to watch the European football league games, typically for significantly less than a dollar. As the popularity of these matches grew in the early 2000s, so did the existence of these centres that are viewing.

With passionate fans, these locations are usually packed on match-days sporting replica jerseys and rooting for their favourite teams but more lately, buffs might be noticed by a sharp observer at viewing centres clutching a white piece of paper – a ‘ticket’. In spite of the belief that sport wagering kicked off in Nigeria only lately, the initial sport betting businesses recorded their very first entry to the market in 2007.

Generally, sport gambling involves punters getting their wagers to correspond using the stakes and predicting the outcome of matches. The stakes are rewarded with winnings that were stipulated in the event the forecasts are correct. In Nigeria, where there are millions of very enthusiastic soccer fans, sport betting has found its home that was proverbial.

Finally, fans started to research the actual chance of not merely seeing football but also earning money from these games played thousands of miles away. For enthusiasts who watch football the capacity to make money from it has presented an opportunity too great to pass up.

Cash is the name of the game

Usually, fans are employed to hosting heated discussions on the monstrous weekly wages in their favourite footballers but that dialogue on its head has turned. As the sport is now a viable revenue stream football buffs now discuss their gains from bets. Every other weekend, betting companies pronounce huge winnings from stakes placed with sums as low as N100 (50 cents)

The probability of raking in millions from sums that are meagre is enough motivation for punters all over the nation to bet on a daily basis and because of this, gambling extremely impressive numbers are recorded by businesses. Ademola Adebajo, CEO of Stakersden, a leading gambling company in Lagos, projects that stakes that are daily run into billions of Naira.

Punters in the state are currently seeing this as a supply of daily bread and it is not unusual to see people appropriating a certain sum for gambling daily,” Adebajo said.

Regardless of earning powers, punters cut despite the high amounts of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria. According to Adebajo, low income making punters spend between N200 ($1) and N1000 ($5) on bets while high income earners, labeled ‘big ticket customers’ spend thousands more, although these big ticket customers are securely in the minority.

A pot of gold

In recent years, as Nigeria has turned into a profitable market, capture market share to various amounts of succeeding and sports betting companies have sought to latch on.

The default option business model sees the firms set up shop in a fundamental working office while trying to establish a wide network of affiliate agents who start mortar and brick stores where customers can come into place bets. On the stakes placed in their own stores, brokers as they are officially known, or affiliate store owners, get commissions for their part in the commercial chain. While the offline element flourishes, sports betting firms also manage an online business model using Nigeria’s web penetration.

The Nigerian Communications Commission announced that internet users in the state had reached 97 million last month. With over half of the country online, gaming firms understand the requirement to establish feasible operations that are on-line. For this function, websites are set up for punters to start personal accounts from which they run trades which range from putting stakes depositing funds into an online wallet and transferring winnings made from stakes to their bank accounts. While both versions are explored by some businesses harshly, others like NairaBet only choose to stay primarily online models thereby sidestepping the financial and logistical consequences of setting up and running a large scale offline model.

The first step however, is buying a gambling license for a yearly price of N10 million ($50,000) from regulators. Despite the fact that the cost of kick starting operations is not low, companies that are betting still require deep pockets to pay out winnings from punters which can occasionally come across hundreds of millions in a single weekend.

In reality, the inability to pay up quickly after big wins has been proven to cause major embarrassment for gaming businesses and on some events, eventual closure. Last May, on a weekend that saw few upsets & most predicted results clicking, punters on Bet9ja, the market leader in the sport betting space were said to have garnered up to N700 million ($3.5m) in winning wagers. To its credit, Bet9ja paid promptly- a feat that cannot be matched by several other firms.

Clearly, the company landscape is changing rapidly as betting businesses compete aggressively for market share. According to Adebajo of Stakersden, gambling firms with real targets of domination can no longer play small. “We began with a couple of local firms but right now, the company is moving from a low budget enterprise to one where scale is of the essence. Firms like bet9ja accounts have come to the marketplace to redefine how sport gambling ought to be performed and every operator is reacting to the developments,” he said. “The business landscape has went from attempting to start a corner shop someplace and offer gambling services to folks. The large firms are continuously innovating and upping the ante in the sector. New entrants will need major startup capital to measure up.”

The importance of innovation has seen businesses seek ways to make betting easier and less restrictive for punters as live phone betting services have been started. Stakersden has also recently established a brand new service in collaboration with leading telecoms businesses.

Adebajo says the next phase of evolution will probably be fuelled by foreign investment, while some think the Nigerian market is saturated and can no longer evolve. “Foreign companies have already been licensed to operate here and more are expecting to procure permits or to associate with local operators. So in the next 5 years, we expect to view foreign businesses taking a ball of the shareholding of a few of these firms to compete.”

An improbable solution

Given the high unemployment figures in Nigeria, the creation of jobs from the private sector is critical and in this aspect, the impact of sport wagering continues to be profound. With nationwide operations running, while other focus on maximizing their reach regionally, the business has generated tens of thousands of jobs. A shop and grad owner in Ikorodu, Joseph Chukwu, says sport wagering really has been a lifesaver. “There aren’t any occupations in the country even for competent grads,” he said. “Rather than sit on my thumbs, I decided to set up my store as an agent and make money through commissions. Initially while something bigger came along, I thought of it as something to do but now I am focusing on assembling a chain of shops and being a mogul of types. It might seem silly but I’ve gone from seeking employment to truly establishing a business.”

Adebajo thinks the employment issues and high speed of poverty ensures that the opportunity to make money from sports can hardly be dismissed. “Majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line and any action that can legitimately turn a small amount of money into substantial sums will be appealing.” The sentiments of Adebajo are backed by the many instances when Nigerians have fallen victim to deceptive multi-level marketing and pyramid schemes. Given the legality of sport betting, its allure is ostensible.

In under a decade, the sport betting business become not only a source of income for a lot of Nigerian punters but also big job development vehicle and has grown vastly. Subsequent and observing football matches are no longer just a simple recreational pastime, a late winning goal scored in the English Premier League or in the German Bundesliga is no longer worth just three points – to get a football fan, it may buy another meal.

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