Operators of lottery, pools and betting in Lagos will be charged N20million license fee if a Bill proposed by the State’ Lagos Assembly on Laws on betting is finally approved by the state government.
On Thursday, the Bill, entitled; “Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Bill Arrangement Of Sections” went through a public hearing at the State House of Assembly.
According to the Bill, “before a license is granted to an operator, the Authority shall be satisfied that the applicant is a registered company in Nigeria with a minimum share capital of N20,000,000 (Twenty Million Naira) or as may be directed by the Authority.”
The local content shareholder shall also abide by the regulations, policies, terms and conditions issued by the Authority as stated on the bill.
During the public hearing, it was further disclosed that the new bill, when it becomes law, will consolidate all the laws in the sector and repeal existing laws such as the Lagos State Lotteries (Amendment) Law 2008, the Lagos State Lotteries Law (2004), and the Casino and Gaming Regulatory Authority Law (2007).
Others are Casino and Gaming Regulations (2007), Pools Betting Control Law (2003) and Pools Betting Tax Law (2003).
The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun said in his keynote address that the legislative functions and the legislature is the bedrock of democracy.
“For us to achieve the essence of democracy, the legislature must be in tune with the people.
“This underscores the essence of the public hearing. The worldwide gaming is worth $200 Billion. Several Nigerians are involved in games and sports bettings.
“Its addictive nature calls for caution, and it is our view that the 2008 lottery law needs an amendment as the bulk of the game are done on mobile gadgets,” he said.
The Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Sanai Agunbiade, who did an overview of the Bill, emphasized that the Bill, which has 109 Sections with three regulations, is meant to establish Lagos State Lottery and Gaming Authority and regulate all gaming activities and other connected purposes.
The state’s Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, said in his comments that a lot has changed in the Nigerian gaming sector in the last 10 years and that most of the people involved are youths.
“The future of gaming in Nigeria is bright. The regulations are very robust. The Bill addresses cybersecurity and addresses the concerns of many people. I want to urge all stakeholders to take it seriously,” he said.