The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Governmental Affairs, Honourable Akin Alabi has constituted a technical committee to review the 2017 National Lottery Act.
Constituting the Committee in Abuja on Tuesday, he said the House Committee which oversees the gambling industry in Nigeria discovered the inadequacy of laws that could sustain the industry, saying there was need for amendment to the act to make the industry more robust.
Hon. Alabi said the industry is a sophisticated one that is technologically-driven, noting that the current law had become obsolete.
“The meeting is about amending the National Lottery Act, which is a law that regulates the gambling industry in Nigeria.
“It is an act that a lot of practitioners in the industry from the operators to the regulators feel it is inadequate, not robust enough, feel it is outdated, and obsolete and it is not harnessing the power and the potentials in the industry.
“So we are forming a technical committee to review the act to come up with a bill that will be more comprehensive, robust and up to date to guard the industry.
“Everybody knows the potentials of the lottery gaming industry in Nigeria, but a lot of people don’t actually know the real deal, the real number, some people are just brandishing numbers up and down,” he noted.
He said when the act is reviewed, government would generate maximum revenue in terms of tax and other rebates, as well as employment opportunity which has been elusive in times past.
“There is potential for tax revenues for the Government and potentials for the investors to make money back.
“There is potentials to created direct jobs, employment. With inadequate law guiding this, there is going to be a lot of trial and error but with a robust law we will be able to harness all the potentials,” he added.
In an interview with DAILY POST after the meeting, Chairman of the Nigerian Licensed Lottery Operators Forum Chima Onwuka said the essence of the meeting is basically to review the 2017 lottery act as amended to incorporate the new realities the operators are going through and to remove some of the incessant conflict operators are having with Government regulators for proper means of regulation.
Chima decried how Lottery Operators face double taxation at the Federal and state level, while expressing optimism that the proposed amendment to the lottery Act would take care of the anomaly.
“For a long time the law did not represent the fact that we are a fixed odd country not a jackpot country.
“Most of the games in this country are fixed odds, that is one area we want to look at. We also want the law to recognize the fact that every operator that goes into the market invests billions of Naira in the business and there has to be a gestation period,” he said.