The Relationship Between Online Casino Games and Nigeria’s Internet

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"WeMUNIZE, USAID Nigeria" (CC BY 2.0) by USAID Digital Development

First arriving in 1995, Nigeria’s internet has come a long way to where it is today. In terms of speed, the number of active users, and mobile coverage, consistent improvements are ongoing in a pattern which, so far, shows no sign of slowing down. As in every country, the promises of communication, convenience, information, and entertainment have all played their part in this development.

Taking a look at one subset of these ideas, the forms of entertainment that come from online casino games, an interesting pattern is revealed. In the past, present, and future, this industry can answer a lot of questions about the internet’s path, and why some aspects have remained surprisingly constant in an ever-evolving world.

Nigeria’s Early Internet

The first forms of the internet that came out in Nigeria were the same as in every other country. Slow to the point of being impossible to use in a modern sense, these early dialup connections relied on infrastructure tailored to a simple experience. This meant that, for those looking for entertainment, most of the era’s contemporary games performed poorly.

The exceptions to these rules for most users were born from the realms of browser games. These titles were necessarily simple, with translations of more established games with existing audiences naturally finding themselves among the most popular offerings. From all of these, online casino games such as early versions of online blackjack were a standout. Casino games already had millions of fans all over the globe, and the ease of converting them into early digital formats proved a significant driver for attention within Nigeria, and the internet as a whole.

“Downloading file” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Christiaan Colen

Modern Evolution

At this point, Nigeria has around 134 million active internet users – around 68% of its total population. Infrastructural improvements until this point have effectively brought national internet connections into a more modern age, with average download speeds sitting at just over 9.22 Mbps for fixed broadband.

Well over a hundred times faster than the dialup connections of old, modern broadband has opened Nigerian online gaming up to enormous possibilities. Despite this, online casino games remain some of the most popular around, having developed lock-step alongside the greater growth of the Nigerian internet.

Today, online casinos are bigger than ever, with players able to gain access to far greater variety and convenience than ever before. Even learning how to play is more streamlined, with guides like the rules of blackjack for new players on Paddy Power being easily accessible over desktop, tablet, and smartphone systems. Whether learning the different versions of the game, finer tactics, or finally hitting the tables, no aspect of these casinos has remained stagnant.

The Internet of Tomorrow

By 2023, internet penetration in Niger is expected to grow to around 188 million, or around 96% of Nigeria’s total population. During this time, it is likely that many different forms of online entertainment will fade away, while other newer trends could arise. Despite this reality, the present and past environment of the internet practically guarantees the success of the online casino industry.

Ultimately, this relationship is owed to the rare ease of integration that online casinos and their games have with the digital landscape. Casino games exist outside of this realm already, yet can leverage its potential in ways that few forms of entertainment ever will. Each new step the internet takes is followed by online casinos, and this means that whatever comes next, this industry will be there.