Nigerian sports betting industry stakeholders have put pressure on the Federal Government to tackle the lingering issue of double taxation, claiming that current tax-inefficiencies are stagnating sector growth.
At a summit hosted by industry body the Association of Nigerian Bookmakers (ANB), syndicated operators were all in agreement that taxes charged by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and individual states were non-sustainable.
Stakeholders involved at the summit, pointed the blame at the Nigerian Federal Government for creating an ineffective regulatory framework with no transparency on taxation which has been abused by Nigeria’s 36 states seeking to gain revenues from betting operators.
Speaking to Nigerian news source PUNCH, Akin Alabi, founder of NairaBet and Acting Chairman, ANB, commented on the situation
“Each state says they are in charge of gaming and betting and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission says they are the ones in charge. So who do we pay to? Do we pay twice? That is not even talking about the company taxes that we pay. So, it’s strangling our businesses coupled with forex issues. We need to be sure who we pay to,”
Responding to industry concerns on the matter, representatives of the NLRC stated that tax harmonisation processes and laws were top of their regulatory agenda, in order to ensure a fair market place.
Nevertheless, Nigerian political commentators have detailed that taxation of any industry remains a polemic national issue as individual state regulators seek to control their own fiscal policies, fearing that the majority of funds raised will be kept in Lagos