In Kaduna, the northernmost Nigerian State, the number of betting and gambling outlets, operating without relevant licenses has skyrocketed in the past years. An estimated 1,500 gaming offices carrying gambling operations without proper licensing are spread across the state.
The Kaduna State Internal Revenue department (KADIRS) has taken action by shutting down 13 gambling and betting operators that are functioning without approved licenses.
KADIRS Head of Gaming, Liye Anthony, disclosed this during a discussion with reporters and revealed that this operation began on 10th September with a list of 13 operators which include, five branches each of Bet9ja and King Bet, two of AccessBet and one of Derby Lotto.
“We will continue to go after them until all the operators of the gaming companies regularised their operations and obtained the needed license to operate in the state,” he said.
In the 2020 legislature, the Kaduna Tax Codification and Consolidation law has been revised to state that gaming operators must be registered and licensed before they can commence operations, this law also clearly states the registration fees are non-refundable with also 10% tax on each stake and every winning amount.
Anthony stated that there are an estimated 1 500 gaming venues across the state that are currently operating without proper permission. He added that the clampdown will continue until all of them have been brought to the book, explaining that all operations need to be regularised and licensed for offering these kinds of services.
KADIRS Executive Chairman, Zaid Abubakar, reported that these unregistered operators owe tax amounting to N500 million, listing companies such as K.C Gaming Network, Bet9ja, BetKing, and AccessBet all acquiring debts of ₦325 million, ₦68 million, and ₦33 million respectively. He further explained that these organizations make ₦2 billion monthly from gambling activities but do not remit any payments for tax, and therefore, all operators will be legally required to integrate their activities into the KADIRS service software.
The Executive Chairman of the agency, Zaid Abubakar, explained that “gaming companies were mopping about N2.0 billion monthly from the state and were not paying a penny to the state government as tax.”