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The government of Oyo state has disclosed it’s plans to reposition gaming and lottery in the state by creating a healthy environment that engenders acceptable ethical conducts and practice.

The Oyo state government through its Gaming and Lottery Board made this disclosure today at a 5th annual stakeholders interactive forum.

The Secretary to the Government of Oyo state, Professor Olanike Adeyemo, who spoke on behalf of the state government at the event said, the Makinde led government is committed to creating a safe environment for all stakeholders in the gaming industry.

•••Director General of Oyo State Gaming and Lottery Board, Mr Olajide Boladuro…

She explained while delivering her address, that part of such commitments by the state government is ensuring a culture of sustainable and responsible gaming and lottery environment where all stakeholders including the gaming companies, the gamers, and government operate within a well regulated environment that reduces all forms of risks associated with gaming and lottery.

Highlighting some of the challenges faced by government in the managing the industry, Professor Adeyemo listed regulation, taxation, ineffective management structure and cuber-security among other factors to be improved upon to achieve its mandate on a safer gaming industry.

While stressing the need for government to take the industry more seriously, the SSG equally called the attention of all stakeholders and participants at the event to the negative impacts including addiction inherent in the gaming industry if not properly regulated.

Speaking with journalists shortly after her address at the event, the Oyo SSG said: “We’re going to make sure that this is sustainable including appropriate regulations and being responsible about gaming. It has come to stay, what we can do is to explore the opportunities and ways of managing the risks associated.”

Speaking further while fielding questions from newsmen, Professor Adeyemo, who commended the Director General of Oyo state Gaming and Lottery Board for doing what she termed ‘fantastic’ job, said: “we look forward to exploring all the opportunities that this industry has to offer Oyo state while at the same ensuring a responsible gaming board to ensure citizens are also protected.”

Earlier, the Director General of Oyo State Gaming and Lottery Board, Mr Olajide Boladuro, in his welcome address, disclosed that the event was part of building synergy with stakeholders in the Industry while working with the realities of the gamin market adding that the interactive forum was initiated as a way of informing and engaging stakeholders including registered and prospective gaming operators, financial service providers, related agencies, and ministries, the media and members of the public on the present business environment.

He stated further, that the 5th edition of the interactive forum was scheduled to acquaint gaming operators, sister agencies, of government, the gaming public and other relevant industry Stakeholders with the new framework of the Board and to discuss pertinent issues regarding gaming and lottery industry in the state including safer gambling, future of retail gaming, as well as building a sustainable iGaming business in Oyo state.

Boladuro, who disclosed that the 2023 overall goal of the event was to showcase the potentials of the gaming Industry for sustainability through proper regulation among others, noted that this year’s theme tests three key elements which include the societal, financial, and environmental impacts of gaming companies, societal and environmental issues that could impact gaming companies’ financial success as well as how gaming companies fit within the state’s thresholds.

While fielding questions from journalists shortly before the commencement of panel session at the event, Boladuro said: we have to put the message across because even in the western world, we see people gamble with their life fortunes, losing their lives because of gambling addiction, like the SSG rightly said during her speech concerning warning statements such as applicable with cigarette smokers, we will not relent as a regulatory government agency.

“We will continue to preach to them that gambling can be actually addictive, the revenue is not the goal for us, it’s just that we have to regulate the Industry so, we have to find a way to create a balance for a win-win situation for the operators and government as long as we’re doing the right thing. We will continue to sensitize the public with clear information regarding the addictive tendencies of gambling.”

Present at the event are other aides of the state governor and top government functionaries as well as Industry players, representatives of gaming companies, and other stakeholders.

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