EFCC clamps down on 35 illegal betting, lottery operators

THE Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has uncovered 35 lottery and betting companies operating illegally in Nigeria,  including popular ones like Surebet and Betnow.

The anti graft agency said the discovery followed  an investigation which it said was carried out as part of efforts to end fraud related taxes in the lottery and betting industry in the country.

Tony Orilade,  EFCC spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that the investigation was carried out in collaboration with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), following a request from the Commission.

Orilade explained that the 35 illegal companies were discovered during the investigation to be lacking the ‘core license to operate in Nigeria’.

He added that the anti graft’s findings were corroborated by a document made available  by the NLRC.

According to the Commission, only 21 licensed operators and 18 companies with permits from the NLRC currently operate in Nigeria while others were believed to be illegal operators.

    Naming the illegal operators in the country, EFCC listed Emerald Bets International Limited (Emerald Bet), Saharabets Sports Ltd (Surebet247), Bimm Entertainment Ltd (Easy Bet), Champion Superbet (Superbet), EbonyBet, 360Bets Limited, Bet Now Global Business Services Limited, Caryle Investment Limited (BetMunster), Camlake Limited (Wakabet) and West Africa Betting Company Limited (PMUbet).

    The Commission also named Playwin International Limited (RukkaBet), Ana Lottery Ltd, ParknBet Champion Bookmakers. Nig. Limited, Space Gaming, Fane Int’l Sports Tour Limited (First Fane Sports), Zandalex Int’l Nigeria Limited, Gidi Games, Uwin Bets Limited, Megawin Bets Limited, Vertical Bets and Gaming Limited, Smart Bet Limited (Power Bet), EasyGold Network (Awoof Bet), Melbet and 22Bet as part of the illegal operators.

    LovingBet, LionBet, NetBet, Nairapower Bet, SupaBet, SportBet, KorectWin, 2SureBet, Betwin9ja and Western Sportbet Nigeria Limited were also blacklisted by the commission.

    Those hitherto operating illegally, in contravention of the relevant laws and guidelines would, henceforth , face the full wrath of the law as investigation is ongoing on their illegal activities, he said.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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