How and Why Online Betting Fund Terrorism
THERE are need to urgently tackle illegal online lotteries, betting and gambling because they are increasingly being used for money laundering and terrorism financing.
What we have had with the advent of these illegal online lotteries, betting and gambling is the “Wild West”.
You have companies who operate in tax havens internationally providing these services to Nigerians illegally.
Only last month, Chris Eaton, executive director of the Qatar-based International Centre for Sport Security, revealed that Nigerians and others bet up to one billion euros on each Premier League game.
With terrorism and money laundering capable of undermining sustainable development, there is the need for greater collaboration among stakeholders to tackle the menace.
Today in Nigeria, there are only two gambling legalized and regulated in Nigeria; they are casinos and the national and state approved lotteries.
But despite these strict gambling laws, hundreds of illegal online lotteries, betting and gambling schemes operate freely in the country.
They also range from slot machines to underground casinos and to football betting.
Operators of these schemes are exploiting the lax regulation and the absence of strong consumer advocacy groups.
The individual loses money, family and family while unknowingly helping dangerous criminals or terrorists move money used in waging war against countries.
For now Nigeria’s ill-equipped security agencies have no ways to shut them down because the schemes are increasingly flexible and confusing.
Most Nigerians who wager (bet) on the exchanges are not protected and cannot lay any claims in case of default in payment.
The federal government is also losing revenue due it because of the unregulated nature of the business.
As it stands, Lottery Regulatory Commission is only concerned with the regulation of the operation and business of the national lottery of Nigeria.
The power to regulate the trade is also neither with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) nor the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).
Because nobody is in charge, there are nearly 9,100 retail lottery terminals currently available in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Aba, Benin City, Enugu, Ibadan and Onitsha and other major cities.