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The Nigeria’s House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to carry out enlightenment campaigns to expose the negative effects of sports betting, given the participation of young Nigerians in the act.

The resolution was sequel to a motion brought on the floor of the Green Chambers during plenary on Thursday by member representing Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency, Rivers State, Hon. Nwogu Kelechi.

Moving the motion titled “Need to curtail the dangerous effects of sport betting and direct the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to comply with the Lottery Regulatory Commission Act, 2005,” in a session presided over by the Speaker Tajudden Abbas, Kelechi noted that “Sports betting is expanding like wildfire globally including Nigeria which has growing betting outfits such as Naira Bet, Bet 9ja, Sure Bet, Winners Golden Bet Max Bet, Merry Bet, 1960 Bet, Bet Colony, Stakers Den, Bet 360, Bet 365, Apollo Bet etc,” noting that “Approximately 60m Nigerians aged 18 to 40 are engaged in sports betting.”

According to the Lawmaker, the House is “Aware that the National Lottery Act, 2005 provides for establishment of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the National Lottery Trust Fund and are intended to ensure fair operation and protection of players, stakeholders, and the public.

“The House is aware that Section 2 of the Regulations stipulates that a licensee, appointed agents, franchisees, or operators shall adhere strictly to government policies on social responsibility in designing, advertising, and marketing.

“The House is worried that weak or neglected regulations of sports betting has dangerously led to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or addiction; strained or broken relationships due to lying or stealing from friends and family, financial problems, legal issues, and job loss due to excessive loss or debt, increased crime rates and eventually committing suicide,” stressing “That most players prefer betting through their mobile phones instead of visiting retail outlets in order to evade control and regulations.”

He further argued that if sport betting is properly regulated and supervised, “It will generate tax revenue for the government and contribute to economic growth.

With the adoption of the motion, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation to conduct comprehensive nationwide campaigns to raise public awareness about the negative impact of youth participation in sports betting.

It also mandated its Committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs to conduct a Public Hearing on the dangerous effects and benefits of sports betting in Nigeria and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.



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