Magnus Ekechukwu, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, says sport betting has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of the country.
Ekechukwu made the assertion in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said: “If you have read our act, the act is defined in such a way and manner that it includes and covers sports betting activities, I mean lottery is defined to include sport betting activities.
“Lottery and gaming has been used all over the world as a tool of social economic development, wealth distribution, empowerment, poverty alleviation and so forth and so on.
“But beyond that, the proceeds from lottery and sport betting, we use to provide what we called good courses in Nigeria, which is intervention in the infrastructure development of the country by the government.
“So, the money realised through sport betting that comes to government is ploughed back to the society for everybody to benefit whether you play lottery or you don’t.
“We take good projects to schools; we take to hospitals, we take to communities and so on and so forth. So, the benefits cannot be just easily quantified like that.
“So for those who participate and win for instance, I mean somebody who takes as little as N100 and he wins N2 million.
“You can see his life can be transformed, if he`s somebody who is responsible enough to know how to apply his resources.
“He can start a good business with that; So, the benefits are much.
“Lottery and gaming business have come to stay; no country is an island, so you cannot isolate Nigeria from what is happening in other parts of the world.
“So, sport betting has come to stay, it is a global phenomenon, something is happening everywhere around the world which people are participating.
“And countries are also leveraging on the proceeds to help themselves in their developmental projects just like what we are doing in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the legal backing of its operation, Ekechukwu explained that the commission was established by a law from national assembly which is called the National Lottery Act of 2005.
He said: “So, it is that law that rules and guides these operations, which are defined by way of the role of the commission as a regulator and our responsibility as operator to license.”
NAN reports that NLRC is charged with the responsibility of regulating the business of national lottery and sport betting in Nigeria.
NLRC is also charged to promote transparency, propriety and integrity in the operation of national lottery among others responsibilities.