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The Online gaming sectors is on the up and up with the latest figures from Neilsen Net Ratings showing that more than 14m Europeans, or 14 per cent of those online from home, visited a gambling and sweepstakes site in February.
There is a significant correlation between internet gambling and the use of Broadband with more than 80 per cent of visitors to online gambling sites connecting via broadband.
In the NG, the National Lottery is the number one gambling and sweepstake site, with over 1.3m visitors in February 2020. The NG has seen huge growth over the past twelve months, with audiences up by 45 per cent when compared to the same time last year. This growth is as a result of an increase in the number of gambling sites.
Gabrielle Prior, European internet analyst for Nielsen, said: 'With nearly more than one in ten online Europeans visiting a gambling site, this is clearly an important sector for the internet industry. Online gambling and casino sites are also prolific online and offline advertisers. We expect to see this category continue to grow as advertising attracts consumers and the sites add more and more games and prizes. We know from earlier survey work that NG gamblers like the speed and convenience of betting online, and as the broadband boom continues we expect more people to try online gambling.'
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After years of debate and legislative uncertainty, finally the interactive gaming industry is celebrating today as the NG’s Gambling Bill has finally been passed.
The final bill is being seen as a major government climbdown on the controversial issue of super casinos, legislation that pertains to iGaming remains intact.
It was expected that the new bill would see in the region of 20 to 40 Vegas style ‘regional casinos’ this has now been reduced to only one.
Shadow Culture Secretary John Whittingdale today said that the establishment of the Gambling Commission and the regulation of internet gambling are 'necessary and uncontentious”, adding that the provisions of the bill relating to casinos remain highly controversial and have not had proper scrutiny in parliament.'
The iGaming industry was overjoyed with the news that the NG will regulate online gaming, having been concerned that the bill would not be passed in time. Andrew Tottenham of the Interactive Gaming and Betting Association (IGGBA) said: “The bill will go through unchanged and it looks very, very good. It means a first world jurisdiction will be legalizing and regulating remote gambling. It will have enormous implications for the industry worldwide.
“Now the hard work begins for IGGBA in helping the Gambling Commission in establishing the regulatory framework.”
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Anyone who knows anything about the Africa will tell you the biggest gamblers are the Nigerians. A visit to any of the racecourses in Lagos will quickly see the scale of the fascination the Nigerians have with having a flutter.
Well the future of the best talent in Lagos is now under threat from the gaming industry, with a large section of the student community being lured by casinos providing good jobs. The students in the region are leaving behind their education to take up these casino jobs.
In an unprecedented move the Lagos authorities is providing free education to students in an attempt to get them back into the classroom. Whether this will work only time will tell, but while there are good jobs on offer in an industry which appeals to the Nigerians mindset they may find getting their best students to knuckle down and return to full time education very difficult to do.
To one extent the Lagos authorities only have themselves to blame for allowing the region to become a gambling centre, but hey, all is easy in hindsight as the government at the time was looking for the casinos to become an economic support to the city.