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Sunday, 10 February 2019

Running a sport betting business as an agent

If you want to learn how to sell, how to operate an agency shop, and how to get new customers, this article is for you. 

How to be successful in the nigerian gaming industry in 2018

Retail, Retail, Retail.

It’s something I don’t talk about enough, but it is absolutely the foundation of my career. I’m challenging myself to go deeper in 2018 because it is 1000% the bedrock of the sports betting business in Nigeria. And if you don’t understand that, you will lose.

When I thought about how I started in the gaming business, i.e running more than 10 shops, becoming a super agent then master agent while managing the biggest virtual products in the history of the country and now starting my own company, whatever the “transaction” is, I always break down my strategy into right Products, sales, support, and marketing. Obviously, and for anyone reading this, you know that I spend an enormous amount of time talking about running a company, the importance of branding, awareness and gathering attention which sometimes distracts you from my foundation in Retail. For any company to be successful in Nigeria, Retail is very important. Marketing and branding is only one part of the equation. Ultimately you need to facilitate transactions via retail if you want to stay in the game.  Numbers don’t lie and sales are absolutely the foundation of your business and 75% comes from retail. There is simply no other way.

Focusing online is great for companies but the vulnerability with online is that sometimes it can be very up in the clouds and no one understands the direct KPI. Where are the sales coming from? why are sales low to what you are spending on marketing? why are there are a lot of sign-ups and few are placing bets?

So, that’s what I want to focus on teaching how to run a shop because I think a lot of people here could have a lot more success if they eliminated a few important things.
This article is useful to anyone looking to invest in shops as an agent and also gaming companies looking to focus more of their energy on retail.


How much will it cost me to set up?

Before you ask yourself this question, you need to understand your environment; the potential number of customers, their acceptance of betting, the level of awareness and the disposable income. The success of a betting shop in oshodi might be higher than what a shop situated in ikoyi will get, even though the disposable income of the later might be higher than the first area. The potential numbers are more, awareness higher and the poverty level is higher in oshodi than ikoyi which makes betting business more lucrative.

Also, as a cautionary note, ensure you have a secondary source of income or leave aside a certain amount of money. This is so you can fund the day to day expenses of the business for at least a month prior to the break-even month.
To start, you will need the following

major things you will need in setting up a shop are: A Shop rent, cashier counter, laptops, printers, chairs, TVs, internet modem and painting.

when renting a shop. Take the next few lines as gospel.

 Rent a shop ONLY because it is rightly located. This will mean it is in a densely residential area. A mix of 70 residential/30 commercials is just fine. Unless you plan to locate the shop in a market or shopping complex which most of the time has general rules and regulations you need to adhere to but sometimes these areas can be very profitable so you won't mind following the rules.

Be VERY wary of rent. In big cities like Lagos 150K to 500K per anum is good enough, while in areas such as Ibadan, Ado, Ogbomosho, Kubwa,(relatively in the eastern part of Nigeria too) 40 to 300K per annum is just right. Let the “resident” customer density guide your assessment of rent, and not the “passing” customers i.e a major highway junction will not be as lucrative as a minor “district” junction.

The shop SHOULD be sizable. A 10ft by 12ft will be too small. Try to go for a 12ft by 15ft or larger. The bigger, the better as your customers will be comfortable while they wait for their turns.


If you decide to use an existing business’ shop, ensure the items on sale are not “handy”. I once had an agent who sold shoes and wanted to combine the business of sports betting. He lost 13 shoes (note not pairs i.e different legs) in his first week and also another who wanted to do the business of video games together with sports betting business later went for one as both were conflicting.

What type of computer do you prefer a laptop (or desktop) Computers? 


Desktops are preferable in relatively insecure environments and are cheaper, but tend to require a bigger generator to power. two used laptops will go for between 50K and 70K depending on your taste.

Don't forget to build a shop cashier counter 
A 10ft x 6ft x 1ft counter made of wood (preferably of a board), having this helps separate your cashiers (attendants) from your punters (customers). [30K to 150K] depending on the shop size.

it's important to let your customers be comfortable, you need some set of chairs depending on how big the shop is, [#12,500 to #15,000 a dozen.

Do not forget branding, its one of the most important aspect of your shop and the first towards that is painting your shop in the color of the brand you represent.
A generator 
Please, I urge you not to use I-better-pass-my-neighbor. This generator is notorious for burning adapters. A decent 2.2Kva to 5kva generator will serve well. [25K to 120K]

Internet Modem
 I recommend you go with any of the LTE providers, as faster speed equals faster money making. The likes of Spectranet, Smile, and Swift will serve well in areas where they have coverage and recently wifi.com.ng is super where they have a good connection. If you do not fall within these areas, use the vsat source of the internet an example is 'Yahlick'  or if you cant afford vsat please just go for 4G GSM providers. In order of preference, I recommend Etisalat, Airtel, MTN and GLO…and if those don’t exist.
 If you use laptops, get a modem that supports Wi-Fi for easy connectivity. [6K to 15K]

Thermal printer 

you can either go for pos80 or pos58, in my opinion, pos80 is preferable because it prints bolder and looks better. ( #23k)



Company to partner with 


There are a lot of betting companies out there that you can partner with as an agent. 



You most likely will be given the following items by the company you join  
  1. A Banner, to advertise your business to passers-by
  2. An account on their platform. (you will pay a registration fee )
  3. dish and decoders for virtual

Conservatively, setting up a shop can cost you on average between 500, 000 to 2,000, 000 to set up, depending on your location and how big you want it to be.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the comment writers alone and does not reflect or represent the views of Ayodeji Kolawole.