News

Licensing Your Gaming Operations Legalizes It – Oyo Gaming Board DG tells Illegal Operators




Oyo State Gaming and Lottery Board has advised those who participate in gaming, sports bettings, lottery etc to be responsible for their actions, as these activities have successfully reduced the menace of underage gaming in the state.

Mr Olajide Boladuro, Director General, Oyo State Gaming and Lottery Board, said this on Wednesday while featuring on a programme, ‘The Discourse’ on an Ibadan-based radio station, Noble FM.

Boladuro is also the Vice Chairman of the Association of Gaming Regulators of Nigeria exploited the opportunity of the programme to warn illegal operators of gaming centres especially casinos to do the right thing by getting licensed to legalize their business in the state.

He said “There have been a few investigations, there are a few operators of casinos that are operating illegally in the state, they know themselves. We are coming to you and once the hammer comes down, we will pick up those machines because you are operating illegally in our state. We will shut them down.”

On the state of the industry in the state, Boladuro said “There were a lot of challenges in the wake of the Covid-19, we sympathise with a lot of our operators at the time that I had to seek the approval of Governor Seyi Makinde to give them some kind of palliative as far as the good cause levy they usually pay to the state is a concern.

“We gave them some sort of relief to alleviate their challenges at the time as it was obvious for all to see. They were not making as much as they do and they have an obligation to the state to remit what we call the good cause levy for operating in the state.

“Then, some of them were not able to meet the obligations, so we had to approach Governor Makinde to give them relief and the Governor approved it. It was pretty tough for them at the time but I think things are beginning to pick up and they are back to where they use to be.”

When quizzed on Seyi Makinde’s concern in the gaming industry, the DG said “Well, the Governor does not have any particular interest as far as the industry is a concern. The only interest he has is that as a licensed industry, we should follow up the standard, especially cleaning up the issue of underage gaming and the governor is very particular about that.

“He has charged us that we should not allow underage people to be gambling as well as ensuring that we create an enabling environment for the operators and business to prosper.

“The enabling environment we are talking about is that they should rest assured that we will protect their interest and that we will not charge them as much as they charge them in other states.

“We give them as much as 90 days laxity for them to operate without paying anything to the government, just for them to test the waters and see that Oyo state is where they should be and those are the enabling environment I was talking about.”

“Then, some of them were not able to meet the obligations, so we had to approach Governor Makinde to give them relief and the Governor approved it. It was pretty tough for them at the time but I think things are beginning to pick up and they are back to where they use to be.”

Listing the effort of the board since he resumed as the DG a year ago, Boladuro said the Board under his watch has been undertaking many programmes to ensure that the public is sanitised so that the people would know that the game of lottery is not a matter of life and/or death.

“Going forward, I keep talking about the 2021 Oyo State Gaming and Lottery Board Bill that we have proposed and we have been working on since I came on board, and if that comes through, the sky is the limit for us.

“We are trying to improve the process flow of how we do our business and let our operators do business in a very seamless way, registrations of agents and others that we are doing, our enforcements and monitoring team, the governor is being gracious enough to give us the approval to hire some new folks and also give us some vehicles to do our jobs effectively so that we regulate our operators properly.

“And the stakers are quite happy with what we are doing because if you are betting, you want to have the confidence that you are doing so with people who are capable enough to give you your wins once you triumph and those are some of the things we are working on.

“We are also doing a lot of programmes to ensure that we sanitise the community and also let the people know that the game of lottery is not a do-or-die thing. Don’t go and use your rent or school fees or any other money that you have saved up to gamble, so you have to be responsible with what you do.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button