Nigerian Parliament move to ban sports betting in Nigeria

    If members of the House of Representatives have their way stop sports betting said to be a pastime of 60 million young Nigerians may soon become a thing of history in the country.

    This followed a resolution by Rep. Kelechi Nwogu (PDP-Rivers) at the plenary in Abuja on Thursday.

    The lawmaker had in the resolution complained that the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is weak or has neglected regulations of sports betting in the country.

    He said this have given rise to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and addiction.

    Nwogu added that it had also led to strain or broken relationships due to lying or stealing from friends and family, financial problems, legal issues, and job loss due to excessive loss or debt.

    “Betting has given rise to increased crime rate and eventual suicide,” he said.

    He harped on the need for campaigns to prevent the negative social impact of lottery and underage participation.

    Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation to conduct comprehensive nationwide campaign to raise public awareness about the negative impact of youth participation in sports betting.

    The House also mandated the Committee on Inter–Governmental Affairs to conduct a Public Hearing on the dangerous effects of sports betting in Nigeria.

    It urged the committee to report back to it within four weeks for further legislative action.

    The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has revealed that over 65 million Nigerians actively engage in betting, spending an average of 15 dollars daily.

    NLTF also said Nigerians spend an estimated 975 million dollars daily on online sports betting, which amounts to about 356 billion dollars annually.

    It was estimated that about 60 million Nigerians aged between 18 and 40 engage in sports betting.

    Many young Nigerians also engaged in sports betting to get succour from the hardship in the country

    The NLTF lists 58 betting companies approved to operate in Nigeria on its website.