Nigeria – regulators want to better control the gambling industry
The Nigerian gambling sector has been marked by a new partnership struck between the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Nigerian National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).
The organizations have reached an agreement to work in collaboration to closely examine potential lottery operators’ license applications and to also to invest their efforts into putting an end to certain system loopholes.
The primary function of the NLRC is to take care of the regulation of the lottery business on the territory of the country, to keep the accountability and transparency in the lottery sector and protect the interests of the public, the players and the sector’s stakeholders.
The Director General of the NLRC, Lanre Gbajabiamila, commented that the collaboration between the two organizations was long overdue. He further noted that the National Lottery Regulatory Commission’s work is aimed at regulating gaming, sports betting and lottery activities on the territory of Nigeria, but unfortunately, the Commission itself finds it hard to do all the work on its own because the industry continues to grow.
Earlier this year, in January, the NLRC banned the promotion and sale of tickets of all foreign lottery games in the country that were not officially approved. The move followed multiple allegations that players are not getting their winnings paid by overseas lottery companies, and the sanction was imposed by the Commission in accordance with Section 7 of the National Lottery Act 2005, as the draw of the games was considered to have been compromised.
Rapidly Growing and Digitalizing Gambling Industry Requires Better Regulation
The main function of the Corporate Affairs Commission is to manage the companies that operate on the territory of Nigeria by maintaining a special corporate registry as an additional source of information for the examination of the companies in the above-mentioned cross-checking process.
The CAC has revealed that it was aware of the problems experienced by the NLRC in terms of previous registration of lottery companies. It also shared that it would work alongside the Commission to make sure these issues are prevented from occurring again. As for the partnership between the two bodies, the CAC shared hopes to see the process registration checking to be made easier.
Currently, there is a growing need for partnership between the various regulatory body that controls the industry, as the lottery operations in Nigeria (and the gambling industry as a whole) is digitalizing by becoming more and available through online distribution channels. The collaboration between the NLRC and the CAC has emerged as part of the ongoing effort of the regulators to cooperate with the Federal Government agencies. Recently, the partnership between the NLRC and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has also been extended.