Nigeria Gambling Excise Duty Delayed

May 14, 2024
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Nigeria’s government plans to increase excise tax on gambling have been delayed, according to an update released by the International Monetary Fund.
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Nigeria’s government plans to increase excise tax on gambling have been delayed, according to an update released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Excises on telecommunications, lotteries and gambling are still “currently under consideration”, according to the IMF’s Nigeria report published on May 9.

"Revenue measures in 2024 focus on revenue administration and base broadening. The authorities aim to ease payment of tax remittances from Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, leverage technology and third-party reporting to broaden the tax net and enhancing excise collections by transferring administrative responsibilities to the Federal Inland Revenue Service,” according to the IMF.

The proposed excise duty was included by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning in its 2024-2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper, which was made public in October 2023. 

However, the plan to introduce a new gambling excise duty has still not been publicly detailed. 

Separately, the House of Representatives held a public hearing on the "dangerous effects of sports betting and the need for the NLRC to comply with regulations and the National Lottery Act 2005” on May 8.

Canice Nwachukwu, the chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, said it would not propose a ban on sports betting; however, it does support implementing a central monitoring system for the industry.

“We are all Nigerians. We would not go against people doing their business. They have the right to exercise their franchise. But what we are saying is we have to play within the rules of the game. We have to arm the system to control and enforce all the provisions that would allow gaming and betting to flow smoothly without becoming a social menace,” Nwachukwu said, according to local media reports.

Nigeria’s federal gambling regulator, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, spoke during the hearing, defending its duties and pledging to “strengthen regulations”.

An assessment of sports betting by the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs commenced after a motion in the National Assembly was passed on February 15.

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