Reps move to sanitise Sport Betting in Nigeria

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 16, 20243 min

Sport betting shops and firms in Nigeria include Naira Bet, Bet 9ja, Sure Bet, Winners Golden Bet Max Bet, Merry Bet, 1960 Bet, Bet Colony, Stakers Den, Bet 360, Bet 365, Apollo Bet, among others.

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The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution to cushion the dangerous effects of sports betting in the country as they said over 60 million Nigerians are affected.

The Green Chamber also directed the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to comply with the Lottery Act, 2005, and urged the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation to conduct comprehensive nationwide campaigns to raise public awareness about the negative impact of youth participation in sports betting.

These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Kelechi Nwogu (PDP, Rivers) at plenary on Thursday.

Moving the motion, he said Nigeria has been growing betting outfits such as Naira Bet, Bet 9ja, Sure Bet, Winners Golden Bet Max Bet, Merry Bet, 1960 Bet, Bet Colony, Stakers Den, Bet 360, Bet 365, Apollo Bet, among others.

Referring to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the lawmaker said “There is a report that approximately 60 million Nigerians aged 18 to 40 are engaged in sports betting.”

He said the National Lottery Act, 2005 provides for the establishment of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the National Lottery Trust Fund to ensure fair operation and protection of players, stakeholders, and the public.

According to Nwogu, “Section 2 of the regulations stipulates that a Licensee, appointed agents, franchisees, or operators shall adhere strictly to government policies on social responsibility in designing, advertising, and marketing.”

He expressed worry that weak or neglected regulations of sports betting have dangerously led to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or addiction; strained or broken relationships due to lying or stealing from friends and family, financial problems, legal issues, and job loss due to excessive loss or debt, increased crime rates and eventually committing suicide.

Disturbed that most players prefer betting through their mobile phones instead of visiting retail outlets to evade control and regulations.

“Cognizant that if sports betting is properly regulated and supervised, it will generate tax revenue for the government and contribute to economic growth.

“Further aware of the need to carry campaigns to prevent the negative social impact of lottery and prohibit underage participation,” the lawmaker argued further.

In a unanimous decision, the House mandated the Committee on Inter–Governmental Affairs to conduct a Public Hearing on the dangerous effects and benefits of sports betting in Nigeria and report back within (four) 4 weeks for further legislative action when it adopted the motion.

Elizabeth Atime

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