The Lagos State government is working on a bill that will compel operators of lottery, pools and betting in Lagos State to set aside a minimum of N20 million share capital.
The bill which is currently before the State House of Assembly is entitled; ‘Lagos State Lotteries And Gaming Authority Bill Arrangement Of Sections’ has already gone through public hearing.
According to the bill, “before a license is granted to an operator, the gaming authority shall be satisfied that the applicant is a registered company in Nigeria with a minimum share capital of N20,000,000 or as may be directed by the authority.”
It also specified that the local content shareholder shall abide by the regulations, policies, terms and conditions issued by the Authority.
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; the Casino and Gaming Regulations (2007), Pools Betting Control Law (2003) and Pools Betting Tax Law (2003).
The speaker of the house, Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, represented by deputy speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun, said a sound legislation must be the aggregate of the common interest of the majority, adding that it must perceive and aggregate interest of the people.
The majority leader of the house, Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade, who did an overview of the Bill, emphasised 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 a lot has changed in the Nigerian gaming sector in the last 10 years, and that most of the people involved are youths.
One of the stakeholders at the event, Mr Adebagun Nojeem from Lagos Pool Promoters requested that the stakeholders in the gaming sector should be involved in the State Lottery Board and that the issue of N20 million share capital should be reviewed.
“The 10 per cent charges on sales should be reduced to about 2.5 per cent. Penalty of N2.5 million should be reduced to N1 million or N500,000 and the issue of imprisonment should be removed,” he said.