Reps canvass central monitoring system for sports betting

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, and the Committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs of the House, have proposed the establishment of a Central Monitoring System (CMS), for sports betting and gaming activities in Nigeria.

The speaker said sports betting has been responsible for the destruction of a lot of family lives owing to negative outcomes in most cases.

Both the speaker and chairman of the committee, Canice Nwachukwu made the observations at a public hearing held Wednesday on the “Need to Curb the Dangerous Effect of Sports Betting and Direct the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to Comply With The Lottery Regulatory Commission Act 2005.”

The speaker, who was represented at the hearing by the House Leader, Julius Ihonvbere said that many Nigerians are increasingly being affected by the outcome of sports betting, leading to family crisis, adding that there is the need to strengthen the legal framework for the operation of betting and gaming activities in Nigeria, for transparency and for a positive outcome for both the stakeholders and industry players.

“I commend the chairman and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs for organising this important event that reinforces our dedication to open, participatory and consultative parliament as prioritized in our Legislative Agenda.

“In the ever-changing world advanced by digital innovations, people are on daily basis engaging in highly risky games such as sports betting or gambling by staking their enormously treasured possessions such as money, gold and houses hoping to make accidental gains and chancing to get them back in multiple folds. This dangerous indulgence is becoming more and more prevalent in our country with many Nigerians particularly our youths becoming increasingly addicted to such acts.

‘The ultimate consequences of the obsession to gamble and bet as you are all aware include; psychological and emotional instability, financial drain, workplace derangement leading to depression, stress, health issues and family crisis and utter ruins which pose huge crisis to our society and the socio-economic development of Nigeria”, he said.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Committee, Nwachukwu stated that the investigative public hearing is to ensure that people doing betting and other gaming activities abide by the rules. “We are all Nigerians. We are not going to go against people doing their business. What we want is for people to abide by the rules in doing their business,” he said.