By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA–THE Federal Government has threatened to deploy every available legal instrument to weed out all criminal elements operating within the Nigerian Gaming Industry.
The Director-General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, Mr. Lane Gbajabiamila gave warning on the heels of discovering a forged Sports Betting Permit of the Commission by some criminal elements operating in Lagos State.
The Head, Public Affairs, of the NLRC, Mr. Magnus Ekechukwu in a statement in Abuja said the Director-General stated that the criminals have been arrested and are being prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others who could be nursing similar ideas.
According to him, “It is quite appalling to discover that at this time and age, people could want to defraud the Federal Government believing they would not be arrested. Let all criminals steer clear of the Lottery industry because I can assure them, they would be arrested and prosecuted.
“The criminals already arrested will serve as an example to other criminal elements with intention to defraud the government. We will neither allow nor tolerate such criminality in our industry.”
The Director General further stated that the Commission stands for integrity, transparency and accountability which are the hallmarks of the gaming business in Nigeria.
He stressed that any operator who fails to heed these core values runs the risk of violating the rules and guidelines of the Commission; a situation that attracts stringent consequences.
Gbajabiamila called on staff of the Commission, licensed operators, as well as the general public to be more vigilant in the quest to fish out illegal operators who are out there to thwart the good effort of the Commission in building a robust Nigerian Gaming industry, while also encouraging the licensed operators to always play by the rules.