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Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 21 November 2020

Source: Today NG

Oyo shuts six gaming centres for underage betting

File photo: Oyo State map File photo: Oyo State map

Six gaming centres within the Oyo State capital, Ibadan, were shut on Friday by the State Gaming Board for violating the rule of allowing underage betting, especially students in uniforms during the school period.

The Oyo State Government had earlier declared that it was illegal for children under eighteen years to participate in gaming and any Gaming centre found guilty of allowing such or operates without proper registration would be sealed by the State Gaming Board.

The Director-General, Oyo State Gaming Board, Mr Olajide Boladuro, made the declaration known while addressing the newsmen during an enforcement exercise embarked upon by the Board on the need for Gaming centres to cooperate with Government on gaming law and to ensure proper registration and remittance of levies and dues to the State coffers.

According to the Director-General, most of the centres have been served with letters of warning for them to desist from allowing underage to participate in gaming or allow them in their premises.

He explained further that the Board was also out to seal illegal gaming centre operators and to ensure payment of levies and dues by defaulters.

Mr Boladuro said "Most of the operators are aware that the state government under the leadership of His Excellency, Engr. Seyi makinde frowned at underage gaming but most of them despite having being warned severally with letters and through media sensitizations still persisted.

“Some of these children even go to the centres with their school uniforms when they should be in school learning while some have turned those places to a hideout instead of going to school or be at home to help their parents.

"Also, we have many illegal Gaming centre operators that are yet to register with the Board and thereby operating without a license, there are some that refused to pay up their levies and dues despite several letters of reminder served on them.

"For the government to fulfil all its financial obligations, all gaming centers as business owners need to remit their levies and to the rightful place as their civic duties, therefore, we implored the concerned gaming centers to cooperate with the government by fulfilling their statutory obligation as at when due.”

The Director-General used the opportunity to appreciate those that have complied and encouraged them not to relent in continuing to support the State government to achieve a desirable society and an economically viable environment.

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