The head of Nigeria’s trade association for state gambling regulators has called for standardised technical requirements for gaming machines and an agreement with regulators on the continent to tackle illegal gambling.
Bashir Are, chairman of the Federation of State Gaming Regulators and CEO of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority, made the comments last Friday (January 19) at a press conference promoting the Africa Gaming Expo Lagos, which will start on March 12, according to local media.
Are warned that both operators and regulators were facing challenges, including multiple taxation and a lack of standardised gaming machine standards.
“We also want to have a kind of reciprocity enforcement to deal with illegal operators in the continent. When we have reciprocity enforcement and agreement among regulators on the continent, we will be able to enforce the law efficiently. That will also help us curb underage gambling and improve responsible gambling,” Are said.
Are said the expo, which is endorsed by both of his organisations, will cover a range of topics within the scope of the African gambling market, including responsible gambling measures, emerging trends, challenges and opportunities.
Nigeria’s government is currently trying to resolve the long-ongoing licensing and revenue dispute between the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), the federal gambling regulator and state gambling regulators.
Last year, the NLRC had to to clarify the status of several operators it licenses, after a notice from the Lagos state regulator claimed they were “illegal and unlicensed”, causing widespread confusion.
The government has also said it will introduce a new excise duty on gambling and lotteries that includes online betting within the next few years, but it has remained vague on the details.