Lottery Commission bans operation of unapproved foreign lottery

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission has banned the operation, promotion, sale of tickets, and offer to the public of any and all unapproved foreign lottery.

The Commission’s Director General, Lanre Gbajabiamila, in a statement on Wednesday, said the attention of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission had been drawn to recent developments in the lottery sector and their impact on the business of lottery and the general public in Nigeria.

“There has been an increase in reported cases of non-payment of winnings by lottery operators and investigations have revealed that the games in question are characterized, among others, by the following: The games are foreign to Nigeria; draws are not conducted within the jurisdiction of Nigeria, the timing of the draws are varied and in consistent, the draws are not conducted in a transparent and credible manner; members of the public are not allowed to witness the draw process on occasion and the the foreign games are not approved by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The fundamental criteria for the business of lottery are the transparency and credibility of the draw process.  Where they are absent, the games are compromised and provide opportunities for fraud. This breach of trust is detrimental to the playing public and the reputation of lottery business,” he said.

Gbajabiamila said consequently, to guarantee the integrity of the lottery business in Nigeria, the Commission being statutorily empowered by its enabling Act, “hereby prohibits the operation, promotion,sale of tickets, and offer to the public of any and all unapproved foreign lottery. This is in consonance with the provisions of Section 33 of the National Lottery Act 2005 (as amended).”

He added that no lottery operator shall offer, sell or promote any foreign lottery within Nigeria effective from 15th January, 2020, saying that Lottery operators must conduct all draws in-house for all games offered and allow interested members of the public access to draw venues to ensure transparency and integrity of the lottery process.

“The general public is also by this Notice advised not to patronize lottery games conducted outside Nigeria,” he said.

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