The Lagos State Lottery and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) has recently come under fire after issuing a statement that stated it was the sole body mandated with issuing betting licenses in Lagos State. (LSLGA) Response NLRC
This claim was met with criticism from the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), which claimed that it was the institution authorized by law to issue such licenses.
LSLGA remains the pioneer gaming regulator in Nigeria and its regulatory authority over gaming- online and retail: lottery, betting, casino and related games of chance is derived from the Residual Matters of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) as gaming activities are not included in the Exclusive Legislative List nor the Concurrent Legislative List of the Constitution. By virtue of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and plethora of judicial pronouncement, LSLGA remains the appropriate regulatory body for online and retail gaming activities within Lagos State, Nigeria.
The LSLGA has defended its position by issuing a joint statement with The Association of States Gaming Regulators of Nigeria (ASGRN), citing the Lagos State Lotteries Law (2021) which it claims gives it the exclusive responsibility for regulating all gaming activities in the state.
The Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) wishes to reiterate its position and ultimately the position of the federating states under the auspices of the Association of State Gaming Regulators of Nigeria (ASGR) that the underlisted organizations are operating illegally within Lagos State which is contrary to Section 33(3) of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Law 2021 which provides that ‘a person without a subsisting licence or authorization from the Authority shall not conduct or operate any gaming activity in the State.read part of the statement from LSLGA.
In addition to this, the LSLGA has also named several sports betting companies that it believes are operating illegally in Lagos State. The brands include; ZEBET, BETIKA, GOBET, MSPORT, 22BET, AFRIBET, BESTBET360, BANGBET, BETWAZOBIA, NETBET, NAIRAMILLION, WESTERN LOTTO, ELLIEST LOTTO, RIDERLOTTO, PEELSLOTTO, SETLOTTO, HAMABET, KORETBET, PARIPESA, MEGABET, LIVESCOREBET, BLACKBET/BETTYBINGO, CLOUDBET, SPORTBET.IO, HALLABET, ODDSPEDIA, N1BET, NGAWIN, MILLIONAIREPOWERPLAY, LOTTOMANIA, FIRSTBET, BETXPERIENCE, GIVERAFFLE, KONFAMBET, WAKABET, BETFARM, SCRATCH2WIN, CHOPBARH, NAIJABET, PLENTYMILLIONS, NAIRAPOWERBET, GAMESPAY, XTRAGOALSFANTASY.
For purposes of emphasis, Section 1 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), provides as follows: “if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency be void”.Thus, the Authority is empowered to issue gaming licence and determine the legal status of organizations operating gaming activities within Lagos State.Therefore, LSLGA is constitutionally competent to pronounce the above listed gaming organizations as illegal and unlicenced for failing to comply with the provisions of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Law 2021.
This move has further intensified the debate between the two bodies, as the NLRC had previously listed these same brands as being legal operators in Nigeria.
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The LSLGA has stated that it will not tolerate any form of illegal gaming activity in Lagos State, and has called for all operators to comply with existing regulations and licensing requirements within 30 days from the date of the notice.
All the above listed unlicenced and illegal operators are directed to immediately liaise with LSLGA to regularize their gaming activities within Lagos State. Note that failure to comply with the above directive within 30 (thirty) days upon publication of this notice will leave the Authority with no option than to institute legal action against the organizations.
It has also pledged to continue working closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the industry remains safe, transparent, and sustainable.
While the debate between the two bodies may seem confusing, it is important that both the LSLGA and the NLRC work together to bridge any gaps in their respective regulatory frameworks, and ensure that they are able to effectively monitor and enforce compliance across the entire value chain.
Ultimately, the goal should be to create a gaming industry that is truly innovative, transparent, and most importantly, fair to all stakeholders while at the same time reducing the friction betweem the state gaming authorities and the NLRC. Lagos State Lottery Gaming Authority (LSLGA) Response NLRC