Online sports betting customers in Nigeria may henceforth have an additional hurdle to cross as the House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to ensure gamers link their accounts with their National Identity Numbers.
Naija News understands that the resolution was reached on Thursday, June 23 after the lower chamber of the National Assembly read and assented to a motion by the member representing Ifo/Ewekoro constituency in the 9th National Assembly, Ibrahim Isiaka.
The Ogun State lawmaker explained in the motion that the global gaming market is undoubtedly a huge one estimated to generate between $400 to $500 billion yearly and with the consistency of the current trends, by 2022.
He observed that the platform is set to be worth around $565 billion with increasing amounts of revenues coming from online gaming in its many forms.
Isiaka expressed concerns that the customers are mostly anonymous, noting that with the level of transactions, it is risky to have poor data.
“Mindful that with age-restricted businesses like casinos and online gaming platforms, the critical barrier to entry for customers is age and identity verification, therefore there is an increased need for such verifications in virtual situations in order to secure both the customers and the operators.
“Imperative for regulators to place a premium on data security of gamers and gaming operators and one readily available way to achieve this is to integrate the National identity Numbers (NIN) into the data collection of both new and existing customers,” the lawmaker was quoted as saying during a plenary.
Naija News understands that Isiaka’s motion was received by his colleagues without hesitation.
The House has since directed the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to ensure that all gaming operators in Nigeria integrate the National Identity (NIN) in their data collection.
The House also mandated the Committee on Governmental Affairs to ensure compliance.
Naija News recalls that the Federal Government had sometimes in May through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), vowed to weed out some Sports betting companies in the country.
The decision was taken following the discovery of some sports betting companies operating in Lagos State with forged permits.
NLRC Director-General, Lanre Gbajabiamila, in a statement made available to newsmen through the commission’s spokesperson, Magnus Ekechukwu, said some officials of the defaulting companies have been arrested and would be made a scapegoat to their likes still ghosting around.
Gbajabiamila said that the Commission will deploy every available legal instrument to weed out all criminal elements operating within the Nigerian gaming industry.
He reiterated that the arrested criminals are being prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others who could be nursing similar ideas.