Kelechi Nwogu moves to ban sports betting in Nigeria

The House of Representatives has resolved to stop sports betting in the country and urged the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to comply with the Lottery Regulatory Commission Act, 2005.

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

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had earlier reported that approximately 60 million Nigerians aged between 18 and 40 engage in sports betting.

According to him, weak or neglected regulations of sports betting have given rise to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and addiction.

Kelechi 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 an 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 a 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.

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

NAN reports that Nigerians spend an estimated 975 million dollars daily on online sports betting, which amounts to about 356 billion dollars annually.

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