Top 10 Nigerian Poker Sites 2023 : For Nigerian Players
With a GDP of just under $600 billion, you’d think that Nigeria would have poker rooms teeming with high-rollers on every corner. But interestingly enough, poker hasn’t exactly taken the oil-rich country by storm.
In fact, poker is rarely discussed in reference to the country, except for a few vague references in the media. For all intents and purposes, it seems that Nigeria is a long way off from being a hotbed of poker in the African continent.
That may be about to change, however. As more and more people recognize the potential of poker, it may not be long before a bona fide scene develops in the country. And with a population for just over 186 million, there’s a good chance that there is at least some interest in the game.
Strictly speaking, there is no determinable history of a legal poker scene in Nigeria. Although playing poker does rely on a considerable amount of skill, the fact that there is a certain element of luck or chance involved makes it illegal under Nigerian gambling laws.
Recommended Nigerian Online Poker Rooms
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There are at least two major legal casinos in the country: Le Meridien Eko Hotel & Casino located on Victoria Island and Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
Unfortunately, both of these venues only provide traditional casino games, such as slot machines, roulette, and blackjack. Both land-based casinos are also considered extremely small, and therefore it is highly unlikely that a poker room will be established any time soon as the game of poker doesn’t rake in a lot of money.
Is Poker Legal in Nigeria?
The legality of gambling in Nigeria is a bit of a gray area, in that there seems to be no clear-cut set of laws and regulations governing the local gambling industry.
There is also the issue of lack of proper and effective implementation, which means that local gamblers generally circumvent the existing laws.
In any case, there are two specific laws that govern the gambling industry in the country: the Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act of 1977 and the Nigerian Criminal Code. These are discussed in more detail in the section below, which deals with “Laws and Regulations”.
Only three types of gambling are officially allowed in Nigeria:
- Sports betting
- Skill-based casino games
Games that rely purely on luck are generally not allowed under Nigerian laws.
As for online gambling, Nigerian laws do not seem to expressly forbid such activities, although they are generally assumed to be illegal. In theory, any person or organization that is found to host and/or operate an online gambling site within the country’s borders may be liable for prosecution, with the resulting fines and even a prison sentence.
That being said, there is a serious lack of effective implementation of the restrictions involving online gambling. Nigerian law enforcement personnel are rarely–if ever–known to prevent or prosecute anyone from accessing and signing up at online casinos. Even if they did want to, it is doubtful that they would have the means for doing so. Many online casinos do in fact allow Nigerian players to sign up at their sites, as well as to utilize the full range of services available, including making deposits and withdrawals.
Laws And Regulations In Nigeria
In Nigeria, poker–and all gambling for that matter–is mainly subject to two federal laws: the Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act of 1977 and the Nigerian Criminal Code.
The Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act of 1977 essentially mandates that owning and using any type of gaming machine in the country is illegal.
Anyone convicted of either of these offenses faces the prospect of spending a year in jail. Furthermore, the machines themselves and all the revenue generated from their operation will be seized by the government.
For purposes of the Gaming Machines (Prohibition) Act, “gaming machines” are defined as coin- or token-operated mechanical devices used for gambling.
The Nigerian Criminal Code encompasses sections dealing specifically with gambling, and by extension, poker. Subsection 1 of Section 236 in Chapter 22 defines “illegal gaming houses” as properties or venues wherein the opportunity to engage in illegal or unlawful gaming is presented.
Owners, operators, managers, and even occupiers of illegal gaming houses may be imprisoned for up to two years and be required to pay a fine of up to 1000 Naira. The Act also specifies the types of gambling activities that are permissible under Nigerian law.
The Criminal Code Act of 1990 does not apply to playing poker online, and therefore the residents of Nigeria can legally register with any of the online poker sites we list on our site without having to worry about prosecution or other legal concerns. The reason online poker is legal in Nigeria is that the game of poker is considered a game of skill instead of a game of chance.
Nigeria’s Governing Body For Poker
The sole governing body for gambling in Nigeria is the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).
The commission is tasked with granting licenses to those who wish to establish gambling establishments in the country.
Legal Age To Gamble In Nigeria
The legal age for gambling in a Nigerian land-based casino is 20. For gambling in an online casino, the legal age is 18.
What Should You Look for in an Online Nigerian Poker Site?
The online poker scene in Nigeria is very similar to most of the other African countries. Several online poker rooms operate offshore who gladly accept players from Nigeria.
Playing online poker in Nigeria is perfectly legal, and some of the most established and best online poker sites in the world gladly accept players from the country.
Although Nigeria does not have an online poker room tailor-made for players in the country, in 2013, Nigeria launched their very own online casino, but due to financial issues, the online casino is no longer available. There are still plenty of online sites that accept Nigerian players. Therefore, locating an online poker room is not a huge challenge. Most of the online poker rooms we list on our site provide a safe and fair poker experience, and each is licensed by prestigious regulatory bodies. When searching for an online poker room, you simply need to ensure that the site is licensed by notable jurisdictions, such as Antiqua, Gibraltar or Alderney. However, there’s no need to do the research yourself as we’ve already taken care of that for you.
Those interested in online poker from Nigeria can enjoy a wide range of poker games, including Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Texas Hold’em and a handful of other unique variations, such as Razz, HORSE and Speed Poker. Whatever you wish to play, you’ll have no trouble finding a plethora of poker tables and tournaments at any of the listed poker rooms on our site. Nigerian players can even look forward to claiming an arsenal of bonuses and promotions while playing online along with a host of popular payment methods to easily fund their accounts.
The online poker rooms that accept Nigerian players will also feature some of the highest player traffic in the online poker industry and will offer several contact channels when it comes to customer support. Most of the sites will allow you to contact support via three contact channels, including live chat, telephone, and email. You can also participate in VIP Programs offered by online poker rooms and enjoy a thrilling poker experience while on the move. The mobile version of each poker site will allow you to deposit and withdraw, claim bonuses directly from your mobile device, and give you the opportunity to play several poker tournaments while away from home.
Popular Poker Tournaments Hosted In Nigeria
There is currently no information available on any poker tournaments in Nigeria.
Nigerian Poker Players To Watch Out For
According to the Hendon Mob database, the two biggest winners in the Nigerian poker scene today are Emmanuel Arokodare and Aminu PJ-Akpan.
Emmanuel Arokodare’s best live cash total is $19,245. His total live earnings are $24,345.
Aminu PJ-Akpan’s best live cash total is $1,250. He has earned a total of $1,250 in live earnings.
Banking Options for Nigerian Poker Players
Nigerian poker players who wish to play for real money online have a number of options for sending and receiving money.
There are generally no legal restrictions to depositing money, whether it is to a foreign or a local company.
- Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
- eWallets services such as Neteller and Skrill
- Prepaid cards
Bank wire transfers may also be allowed, depending on the online casino in question. Methods used for making deposits and payments into online casino accounts may also be used for withdrawing winnings and bonuses into the player’s personal bank account.
Currencies Used In Nigerian Poker Rooms
The official currency of Nigeria is the Naira. It can be used in gambling establishments all over the country.
When performing transactions with online casinos and poker establishments, Nigerian players will have to use the currencies supported by the establishment in question, typically US dollars or British Pounds Sterling. At the time of this writing, there seems to be no online casino located outside Nigeria that accepts the Naira as a mode of currency.
For the time being, it appears that the only way for Nigerian players to be able to play poker for money would be to sign up at an online casino that offers poker. Alternately, they could also take part in the poker games hosted by any one of the many underground established in the country. As both of these options are illegal however, doing so is entirely on the discretion of the player, and we cannot in good faith recommend taking part in such activities.
FAQs when playing poker in Nigeria
Is gambling allowed in Nigeria?
The Nigerian government currently allows three forms of gambling:
- Sports betting
- Skill-based casino games
Casino games based entirely on luck such as craps, roulette, and certain types of card games are not allowed by law.
Strictly speaking, online gambling is illegal in Nigeria. However, the laxity in regulation means that many simply ignore these restrictions. Many online casinos actually accept Nigerian players who wish to gamble at their establishments.
Are gambling winnings in Nigeria subject to taxes?
No, any winnings resulting from playing poker online is non-taxable. Online poker operators are required to pay a series of levies and taxes, and therefore Nigeria does not tax winnings. However, some poker rooms will apply withdrawal processing fees for certain withdrawal methods.
Can I play online poker in Nigeria from a mobile device?
Yes. Most online poker sites we list will allow you to enjoy online poker via a mobile device. As long as you have a stable connection you will be able to access all table games, tournaments, deposit, and withdrawal and contact support should you need to.
Are you allowed to use external software to help you learn poker while playing online?
Yes, as long as that software is not connected to the poker room you are playing with. There is multiple software options that will allow you to enter the cards dealt to help you learn proper playing strategies or learn the game of poker in general.
Am I able to play at the same table as my friends?
This is allowed as long as you are not colluding with your friends to gain an unfair advantage over other seated players. If determined you are colluding, you will be prevented from sitting at the same table in the future.
What is a satellite tournament?
A satellite tournament is one that will award entries into other tournaments. These can include those offered directly by the poker site or those featured on the World Poker Tour for example. Depending on the number of people registered, the number of awarded seats will vary.
Is there a difference between one poker site and the next?
Yes. The quality of poker will depend on the individual poker room. Factors that will determine this include the number of cash tables, tournaments and player traffic. Software also is applicable as those with superior software will have higher traffic numbers, table and tournaments.
How does a poker site make money?
A poker site makes money through the rake collected at cash games. A certain percentage of all pots is applied to the rake – usually this is 5%. They also make money through tournament buy-in’s, and that the amount will depend on the amount of the buy-in