Ban on Nigerian Gambling Operators Sparks Licensing Confusion and Calls for Clarity

Home » Ban on Nigerian Gambling Operators Sparks Licensing Confusion and Calls for Clarity

In a surprising turn of events, more than 30 gambling operators have been banned from conducting business. The public has been cautioned against engaging with these brands as they have been declared illegal by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and have been found to contravene the provisions of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Law 2021 in its amended form.

The ban has affected various sectors and forms of gambling in Nigeria, where strict regulations apply to both online betting sites in Nigeria and land-based gambling. The Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) has accused these brands of failing to obtain the necessary licenses from LSLGA. As a result, that has put them in violation of Section 33(3) of the law. 

This section explicitly states that “a person without a subsisting licence or authorisation from the Authority shall not conduct or operate any gaming activity in the State.”

Controversy Surrounding the Ban

The recent ban on over 30 gambling operators in Nigeria has sent shockwaves through the industry, leaving both the public and operators puzzled and demanding answers. One of the major sources of confusion stems from the fact that several of the banned operators hold licenses issued by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). This federal body oversees gambling activities in Nigeria.

Zebet, a prominent betting operator on the banned list, was quick to respond, emphasising their federal license granted by the NLRC. They invited the public to review their official federal license on the NLRC website, further confirming that their authorisation covers the entirety of Nigeria, not just Lagos.

This revelation has ignited a crucial debate about the regulatory framework in Nigeria. Some users have raised valid questions regarding whether these operators, despite having federal licenses, need additional licenses at the state level to operate within Lagos. The ambiguity lies in whether these companies require physical offices within Lagos to necessitate a state license.

For example, 22Bet, one of the banned operators, does not maintain physical offices in Lagos. This has led to speculation that they might not need a Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) license. Such complexities in licensing procedures highlight the need for greater clarity and transparency within the regulatory landscape of Nigeria.

The ban has not only created confusion but has also brought to the forefront the importance of streamlining licensing procedures and ensuring that operators fully understand their compliance requirements at both federal and state levels. As the industry navigates these challenges, it is clear that regulatory authorities and operators must work together to establish more precise guidelines and promote a more cohesive and transparent regulatory environment for Nigeria’s gambling sector.

List of Banned Companies

The list of companies now prohibited from operating in Nigeria includes the following: 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, Scrath2win, Chopbarh, Naijabet, Plentymillions, Nairapowerbet, Gamespay and Xtragoalsfantasy.

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