By Folasade Oduwale
IBADAN – Six gaming centres within Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were shut on Friday, November 20 2020 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 18 years to participate in gaming and any Gaming centre found guilty of allowing such or operates without proper registration would be sealed ofg 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 centers 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 sensitisations still persisted.
“Some of these children even go to the center in 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 license. There are some that refused to pay up their levies and dues despite several letters of reminder served on them.
‘’For government to fulfill all its financial obligations, all gaming centres as business owners need to remit their levies and to the rightful place as their civic duties, therefore, we implored the concerned gaming centres 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.