Founders of the Best Bookmakers in Nigeria

Publication - May 01, 2024Changed - May 24, 2024

The National Lottery Act of 2005 declared gambling to be legal in Nigeria. Now, Nigeria’s entertainment sector of the economy is primarily based on the betting industry due to the country’s expanding number of betting enterprises. Some of the elements for the enormous expansion of the betting sector in Nigeria include the legalization of betting operations, greater internet availability and usage, and youth unemployment. Nigerians may now bet on their preferred sporting events from the comfort of their homes, thanks to the availability of online betting options from many sports betting platforms. 

In this article, we will tell you about Nigeria’s best sports betting services and their owners.

Betting Industry in Nigeria: Review

Betting Industry in Nigeria: Review

Although gambling has a long history in Nigeria, it has always been considered anti-social behavior. Before 1990, some Nigerians were engaged in sports betting but kept these activities secret from their friends and families. Today, Nigeria’s sports betting market is booming. Because smartphones and the internet are so widely accessible, the industry in Nigeria has experienced enormous growth. It all started in 2009 with a few local bookmakers who offered legal sports betting services. Then, a number of international bookmaking giants invaded the Nigerian betting market to cater to local bettors. Now, Nigeria is one of the key wagering markets in the entire continent.

Owners of the Largest Sports Betting Companies in Nigeria

Owners of the Largest Sports Betting Companies in Nigeria

Here is a list of the most formidable bookies in Nigeria.

Bet9ja: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

Bet9ja is a Nigerian-owned bookmaking company launched in 2013 by Kunle Soname, a Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist. Soname is a professional economist who graduated from the renowned Obafemi Awolowo University with a bachelor’s degree. Soname was already a prosperous businessman before starting his sports betting firm. He is the owner of a number of businesses, including the Remo Stars Football Club, which he bought in 2004.

Nairabet: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

Nairabet is one of Nigeria’s most seasoned and well-known online bookies. The company debuted in 2009 and is still one of Nigeria’s most popular sportsbooks. The bookie has a valid permit granted by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission of Nigeria. Nairabet was founded by Akin Alabi, also known as Otunba Akin Alabi, a Nigerian internet entrepreneur, politician, philanthropist, and writer. Nairabet was the first company to develop a fully functional website where customers could make deposits, wagers, and withdrawals. The company is headquartered in Lagos, with more than a thousand locations nationwide. Nairabet is considered the most visited African sports bookmaking platform.

BetKing: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

BetKing is one of the most well-liked companies in the Nigerian betting industry. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, the company has over 100,000 employees and thousands of customers. The bookie offers a great selection of sports and services to cater to its punters, as well as virtual sports and eSports. In addition, the platform encourages its customers with great incentives and promo deals. Rumor has it that BetKing is owned by Jay Jay Okocha. Actually, the company was founded by Adekunle Adeniji and Byron Petzer. Jay Jay Okocha, a Nigerian football legend, is BetKing’s brand ambassador in the country.

SportyBet: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

Ran by Sporty Ltd Trading, Sportybet is an online betting company with its headquarters based in Nigeria. Sudeep Ramnani, an Indian entrepreneur, is the founder and CEO of Sportybet. Sudeep supports the rise of the African digital ecosystem and invests in fintech and mobile payments. The bookmaker can boast a cool brand ambassador as well. Nwankwo Kanu, a former Arsenal forward player, represents the brand on a global stage. 

MerryBet: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

One of Nigeria’s premier online betting services, Merrybet, is quickly growing in recognition. The business was founded as an online casino platform, but it gradually established itself as a pioneer in the Nigerian betting sector. MerryBet, a division of Merrybet Gold Limited, was launched by Opeoluwa Fashakin in 2013. MerryBet owner is not a public figure and seeks no publicity. A graduate of Lagos State University with a degree in computer science, Fashakin is also the founder and CEO of EpaySystem.

Betway: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

Known for being reliable, trustworthy, and compliant with all applicable laws, Betway operates in numerous jurisdictions. In addition, the bookie has a fantastic sportsbook with exceptional odds for plenty of sports, including, among others, basketball, boxing, and, of course, football. Lere Awokoya founded Betway Nigeria, a branch of the Betway Group that operates in Nigeria. Richard Akitt serves as the company’s global CEO.

BangBet: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

For Nigerian internet gamblers, Bangbet is a safe and reputable betting service. The bookmaker offers attractive incentives, promotions, and a broad selection of betting markets to keep customers interested and hooked. The user interface is outstanding and friendly. As a result, the bookie has a solid reputation among Nigerian bettors.

Bangbet is operated by Infinity Mobile Gaming and Entertainment Ltd., a company duly registered and incorporated in Nigeria.

22Bet: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

Launched in Nigeria in 2018, 22Bet Nigeria is a legitimate bookie that offers over 1,000 events daily. The company can boast a trustworthy gambling license issued in Curacao. 22Bet is owned by Marikit Holdings Ltd., headquartered in Cyprus. The CEO of the brand is currently unknown. The management of the company is entrusted to TechSolutions Group NV.

Bet365: Overview of the Company and Its Founders

Denise Coates, the daughter of legendary sportsbook pioneer Peter Coates, launched Bet365 in the early 2000s. Since then, the UK-based business has successfully used marketing and promotion strategies to grow its brand worldwide. Bet365 is a trading name of Hillside (New Media) Ltd. Nigerian punters can access the platform and use all of its perks. However, Bet365 doesn’t accept Nigerian Naira, and all the transactions within the service are carried out in USD or Euro. Furthermore, it is essential to note that Nigerian governing bodies did not license Bet365; therefore, using the service is not 100% safe for Nigerian punters.

More Insights on Owners of Sports Betting Companies in Nigeria

Most owners of Nigerian bookmaking companies have other business and social interests as well. For example, Denise Coates, the owner of Bet365 and one of the wealthiest women in Great Britain, runs a charity fund under the name of the “Denise Coates Foundation.” They process donations for relief programs, war refugees, medical institutions, and universities. Sudeep Ramnani, the owner of SportyBet, invests funds into fintech startups. Akin Alabi, the owner of Nairabet, is a well-known politician and the founder of Akin Alabi Foundation, a non-governmental and non-profit enterprise aimed at improving the well-being of an average Nigerian.

Their Contribution to the Development of Sports in Nigeria

As a thriving industry, sports betting in Nigeria attracts more and more sports lovers thanks to the abovementioned platforms. Apart from football, which is the favorite game for Nigerians, locals have started to explore other sporting activities and games. Moreover, most Nigerian bookmakers have famous Nigerian sportsmen as brand ambassadors, attracting new bettors eager to expand their betting horizons.

Financial Data About Owners of Sports Betting Companies in Nigeria

Financial Data About Owners of Sports Betting Companies in Nigeria

Income details and the financial state of the owners of Nigerian bookmakers are not released to the public. But we will share some insider information.

Their Fortune and Position in the List of the Richest People in Nigeria

Sports betting is a thriving industry that has distributed many assets and produced young and aspiring millionaires in Nigeria alone. The online betting business is booming and gaining momentum throughout Africa, with Nigeria being one of the hot spots for African bettors. Of course, the owners of Nigerian betting companies are very prosperous people. For example, Akin Alabi has an alleged net worth estimated at USD 75,000,000. The estimated value of Kunle Soname’s (Bet9ja) net worth is USD 550,000,000. However, this sort of financial details is strictly confidential and not disclosed to the general public. Basically, all the digits roaming online are pure hearsay.



The Nigerian sports betting market is booming and is predicted to see rapid expansion in the near future. Such impressive performance is fueled by the widespread use of smartphones, the rise of mobile sports betting, and the high internet penetration. As a result, the sector is anticipated to grow strongly as more and more Nigerians have access to online sports betting services. In this article, we’ve listed Nigeria’s most popular betting platforms and shared some information about their owners. This read will help you make a smart choice regarding your preferred Nigerian bookmaker.


Who is the richest bet in Nigeria?

The wealthiest betting company in Nigeria is called Nairabet. It is the most powerful and financially stable bookmaker in Nigeria, which also offers top-notch customer services.

Which bet is the oldest in Nigeria?

Nairabet is the oldest betting company in Nigeria.

When did betting start in Nigeria?

In the early 2000s, a few bookmakers with overseas bases brought online betting to Nigeria. There were many difficulties for these early online betting sites, such as low internet penetration and a lack of industry regulation. Basically, sports betting in Nigeria started around 2009 when its first national bookmaker, Nairabet, was founded.

What is the best bet in Nigeria?

Nigeria can boast an array of really good betting platforms. We listed the best ones in this review. Usually, Nairabet and 1xBet are considered the best betting platforms in the country.

Who is the best bet winner?

If we are talking about Nigeria, Godwin Ighala won NGN 58,500,000 in 2015.
article rating


Apps Reading time: 13 min
Publication - Jan 18, 2023 Changed - May 30, 2024
Bet9ja App Download and Installation

It is only natural for a gambling platform as big as Bet9ja to have a designated sports betting application. Moreover, the platform boasts two of them, one dedicated to sports wagering and the other for casino gaming. In this article, we will talk about both of them in detail, touching upon every feature, all the pros and cons of them, and more....

Registration Reading time: 5 min
Publication - Jan 18, 2023 Changed - Jun 04, 2024
Bet9ja Login

Since Bet9ja is the biggest sports betting platform in Nigeria, there is a large number of people who are interested in learning how to log into it. This is precisely the topic of our today’s article, in it we will talk about each and every way in which you can log into your profile on Bet9ja. How to Login: A Detailed Guide In all...

Bonuses Reading time: 4 min
Publication - May 23, 2023 Changed - Jun 17, 2024
Bet9ja Bonuses in Nigeria

Bet9ja is regarded as one of the most popular betting sites, providing various betting services, promotions, and top-notch sporting events that Nigerians can use. In addition, Bet9ja is home to some of the best promotions that Nigerians will find around, and in this article, we will be taking a closer look at some of the promotions on offer by...