Nigeria’s National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) has awarded sports betting licences to Betwinner and Bet24hrs, amid efforts to expand the country’s regulated lottery and gaming industry.
The pair have been licensed as the regulator looks to make the industry more transparent, by ensuring as many operators as possible are licensed.
This follows the Commission prohibiting the operation, promotion and sale of tickets of all unlicensed foreign lottery businesses, after many providers failed to pay out player winnings.
Upon receiving the licence, Bet24Hrs managing director Roy Jiang thanked the Commission for its help throughout the process, and pledged to contribute to the process and growth of Nigeria’s regulated gambling industry.
Betwinner managing director Olatunji Idowu added that the operator was dedicated to being a trusted partner of the regulator. He said he was encouraged with the Commission’s ongoing efforts to clean up the industry, and ensure all stakeholders supported good causes.
Commission director Lanre Gbajabiamila called on all operators currently serving Nigerian customers without a licence to apply for certification, warning those that failed to do so would “face the full wrath of the law”
He also warned that licensees which failed to comply with regulations were liable to have approval to operate revoked. These companies were advised to pay taxes, winnings and social contributions when due, as well as hinting at changes to regulations as the industry expands.
The NLRC currently offers three types of licences; companies can apply for lottery or sports betting licences, which come with a fixed NGN2m (£4,250/€5,077/$5,502) fee. A third, a promotional licence, covers online and mobile gaming, with the fee determined on a case-by-case basis.