Nigerian State Regulators Challenge Ruling Empowering Federal Authority

October 11, 2023 | Government

NIGERIA (October 6, 2023) — According to local media reports the Nigerian Association of State Gambling Regulators (ASGR) is appealing a High Court ruling that had hoped to end a long-standing dispute between its members and the federal gambling regulator regarding who oversees gambling businesses in the country.

Vixio reports the ASGR said it is “not satisfied” with the judgment, which declared that the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the National Lottery Trust Fund have sole authority over gambling.

To challenge the ruling, the ASGR has filed a notice of appeal and applied for an injunction on the decision until the appeal is dealt with.

News of the challenge, which was somewhat anticipated, came from an open letter signed by ASGR chair Bashir Are, who is also the chief executive of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority.

In the letter, Are acknowledges that operators will be caught up in the legal challenge, but he claims the ASGR will do everything in its power to ensure they can continue without any fear of being harassed by federal authorities.

“The ASGR is using this medium to reassure stakeholders that the issue will be addressed in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and the concept of federalism,” Are wrote in his letter.

A court ruling was handed out at the start of August 2022, after legal proceedings were launched by the Bookmakers Association of Nigeria (BAN), with its members concerned over paying multiple taxes and licensing fees to both state and federal regulators.

Following the court ruling, the BAN met with the ASGR on August 30 at a hotel in Ikeja to discuss their concerns.

More than 70 delegates in attendance from both organisations agreed that, pending the appeal proceedings, “all licensed lottery and gambling operators are urged to remain calm and go about their lawful businesses”, according to the open letter.

SOURCE: Vixio.

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