The Federal Government (FG) has revealed plans to launch a Central Monitoring System to regulate the activities of sports betting and gaming companies, thus repealing the National Lottery Act and the Gaming Act 2021.
According to the FG, this decision is as a direct result of the bid for more revenue generation.
Nigeria is looking to mine the huge potential of lottery and gaming as a wealth generator, which can have a huge impact on Nigeria’s socio-economic growth. The development would affect prominent players in the industry such as BetNaija, SportyBet and BetKing, among others.
This was contained in a statement issued by Senator George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs.
According to Akume, the move is necessary to “accommodate the growing dynamism of lottery business; and help steer the industry to international best practices for improved good causes; interventions across the country and also sanitise the industry for much-approved revenues.”
The FG is looking inward for revenue sources; with Akume noting that it is “committed to ensuring that returns obtainable from other non-oil sources of revenues are maximised. Hence, lottery is one of such alternative revenue sources that this government has identified; and is determined to make it more productive as well as sustainable.
“As the sector becomes firmly established, it is our expectation that lottery will be included in the strategic plans of the nation.”
The Minister warned about prosecution for defaulters; while imploring them to adhere to the law.
1st News reports that the sports betting industry in Nigeria is reportedly worth around $2bn.
Meanwhile, in protest against the recent media bills passed in the National Assembly; several newspapers in Nigeria on Monday, July 12, published an advertorial against media regulations bills being considered at the National Assembly.
The advertorial, which appeared on the front pages of dailies such as Punch; Vanguard; The Nation; ThisDay; Guardian; Daily Sun was sponsored by the Nigeria Union of Journalists; the Nigerian Guild of Editors; as well as the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria.
With a bold headline titled ‘Information Blackout’, the advertorial said the NPC and NBC (Media) Act amendment bills being considered by federal lawmakers was geared against the right of citizens information.
It reads, “It’s not just against the media.
“It is about society’s right to know, your right to be heard.”
Equally important, the bills, which are already at the public hearing stage, are being sponsored by Olusegun Odebunmi, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics, and Values.
Debate on the bill comes as the Federal Government moves to tighten regulation on social media; after suspending Twitter over national security concerns.