Nigerian governmental bodies, the Nigerian National Lottery Regulatory Commission /NLRC/ and the Corporate Affairs Commission /CAC/ have joined forces to fight “unscrupulous companies” from the gambling industry in the country, striking an agreement to work in close cooperation regarding the vetting procedure of candidates for lottery operations as well as plug leakages in the system.
Lottery Regulator Needs Support
The NLRC primary function is to regulate the operations of lottery business in Nigeria, maintain transparency and accountability in lottery industry and protect the interests of players, stakeholders and the public, but the industry itself has outgrown the regulator’s ability.
In January 2020, after multiple allegations that player winning were not being paid by foreign lottery operators, the NLRC, according to Section 7 of National Lottery Act 2005, “prohibited the promotion and sale of tickets of all unapproved foreign lottery games in Nigeria with effect from January 15 2020”, as it considered the draw of the games compromised, even suspecting fraud.
“This collaboration has been long overdue… our mandate is to regulate lottery, sports betting and gaming activities in Nigeria. Our Commission can only do so much on its own because of the way the industry has grown and continues to grow”.Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director General, NLRC
The Corporate Registrar Perfect For Cross-Checking Purposes
The CAC main function is the management of companies in the country and, by maintaining a corporate registry, it provides an extra source of information for the lottery vetting purposes in terms of cross-checking.
CAC officials admit they are well aware with the problems NLRC faced in the past regarding registration of lottery operators and hope that the future collaboration would prevent these issues from reoccurring, as, by setting up a database for the lottery, the Corporate Affairs Commission believes it will facilitate the process of checking whether a certain company has been registered with them as a provider for lottery products and services one or not.
Partnership For Information Technology Extended
There is a growing need for collaboration that stems from the change in the lottery operations from “retail paper-coupon playing venture” to online distribution channels, and as part of its ongoing effort to cooperate with Federal Government agencies, the NLRC extended its partnership with the National Information Technology Development Agency /NITDA/, a governmental body tasked with the responsibility of developing and regulating Information Technology in Nigeria.
The need for collaboration and coordination of efforts is also needed in terms of the lottery efforts to tackle the issue of remote gaming in the country, and the NLRC received assurances by NITDA officials that a technical team from both agencies would work out on the issue.