The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Zephaniah Jisalo, has expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to resolving the issues surrounding revenue generation in the gaming sector. He made this statement during the 2023 International Gaming Conference, which was held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island. The conference, themed “Innovation and Disruption: Core Strategies for Success,” brought together industry stakeholders from around the world.
In his opening address, Minister Jisalo acknowledged the challenges related to revenue collection in the gaming industry, particularly the friction between federal and state regulators. He emphasized the need for a collaborative approach to finding common ground and resolving issues for the benefit of all stakeholders, promoting peace, harmony, and progress. He suggested a “Shared-Value” engagement as an alternative to the current “Jurisdictional Protection” approach.
Minister Jisalo praised the conference’s theme and called for commendations from all relevant gaming industry stakeholders. He assured that the Federal Government would utilize its statutory powers to support the sustainable growth and development of the gaming industry and work to consolidate the progress achieved so far.
Lanre Gbajabiamila, the Director-General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, emphasized the significance of the gaming sector in driving economic growth. He described it as a powerful tool for addressing issues such as unemployment and low per capita income. Gbajabiamila noted that Nigeria’s population represents untapped potential, and the gaming industry has evolved significantly due to technological advancements, ushering in a digital era that has transformed how people engage with and perceive the sector. He highlighted the challenges and opportunities brought by this transformation, particularly in regulating online and remote gaming operators.
Gbajabiamila also stressed the importance of establishing a regulatory framework that promotes fairness, protects consumers, and creates an environment where gaming businesses can thrive.
Dr. Bello Maigari, the Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, noted that with a population of over 200 million people and the largest betting market in Africa, Nigeria is making significant strides in the world of online sports betting.