Oyo govt warns companies against unregistered promotional lotteries

………As it holds Stakeholders Interactive Forum on wednesday

By Ogundele Olanrewaju

As the yelutide period approaches, Oyo State Gaming Board on Sunday said it is ready to begin strict enforcement of banning companies that engage in unregistered promotional lotteries in the state.

This is as the Board also warn residents and people of the state to beware of companies and organisation who would begin to lure them with unrealistic gift offers all in the name of promotional lotteries.

The Director-General, Oyo State Gaming Board, Mr. Olajide Boladuro, made the disclosures during a media briefing, heralding the annual interactive stakeholders forum of the Board which held at the Horizon Suite hall, Oluyole, Ibadan.

The two days stakeholders Forum is billed to commence with a road show on Tuesday (tomorrow) while the Stakeholders Forum which will also have two panel sessions comes up on Wednesday.

A dinner and award night will also follow to give recognition and commendations to deserving operators and other stakeholders in the sector.

Speaking on the challenges of unregistered promotional lotteries in the state, Boladuro said the trend has been on the rise lately due to the approaching end of the year realities.

He said: “In actuality, it has been a challenge with the likes of companies that engage in promotional lotteries. I don’t want to mention names, but they know themselves. It is coming to the end of the year where they have all this promotional lotteries.

“We have written to all the companies and from our investigations around the state, we have given them warnings, we have written to them. We are not getting a lot of response.

“I want to use this press conference again to communicate to them, because the next thing that will proceed the letters, appeals to all this companies will be strict enforcement.

“We are going to lock up their gates. So, you cannot be bigger than the government. This is in our law. If you look at the Oyo State Gaming Law 2018, promotional lottery is embedded in our laws.

“Banks, telecoms that give announcements about what they can do on the recharge cards or whatever to their customers, are supposed to register with the Oyo State Gaming Board and there is a fee you pay for that registration for you to embark on those kinds of activities.

“After our stakeholders’ forum, there are plans in place, especially in this festive period to engage those companies that have not complied with our warnings for them to do the needful going by the law of the state.

“The Oyo State Gaming Board is a gaming regulatory agency of the Oyo State Government vested with the powers and functions of regulating betting/gaming operations through registration and issuance of licences/permits, monitoring, inspection of gaming activities and protecting the interest of all stakeholders in the gaming industry in Oyo State, Nigeria.”

“The Board regulates all categories of gaming operations such Lotto/Lotteries, Pools Betting, Sports Betting (online and offline), casinos, telephone/scratch cards/interactive games, virtual gaming, promotional competition, arcades/gaming machines and any other type of gaming operation in the state.”

As part of building a synergy with Stakeholders while working with the realities of the gaming market in the state, Mr. Boladuro hinted that, the board initiated a stakeholders’ interactive forum as a way of informing, engaging stakeholders, including the registered and prospective gaming operators, financial service providers, related agencies and ministries, media and members of the public on the present business clime.

“Over 70 percent of gaming agents have been duly registered and has obtained their permit from the board. 75 percent effective enforcement exercise on erring operators/ agents.”

“Ninety percent compliance on gaming regulations and completion of documentation process. Prompt payment of monthly taxes and other statutory levies.

“Elimination of backlog of liabilities by operators and effective payment plan. Prompt verification and reconciliation of payment and financial status with operators,” he disclosed.

Boladuro, however, reiterated that, the board had been carrying out surveillance and due diligence on underage persons (below 18) found within betting shops/kiosks.

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