The Kaduna State Government has sealed forty Bet9ja offices in and around Kaduna, as well as other betting platforms as part of operation to close unregistered bet offices in the state.
The State agency, Kaduna Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) carried out the exercise, shutting down 13 gaming offices.
KADRIS head of gaming, Liye Anthony said the operation began on Thursday and had so far seen five offices each of Bet9ja and King Bet, two Access Bet offices and one office of Derby Lotto shut down.
Anthony cited the Kaduna State Tax Codification and Consolidation Law, 2020, as amended, as its basis for the exercise.
According to him, gaming companies are required to register and obtain a license before operating in the state.
He noted that Section 86 mandated any gaming company wishing to operate in the state to pay a non-refundable registration fee of N400,000.
The firm will, thereafter, apply for an operating license.
He also noted that Section 91 required the registered firms to pay 10 per cent tax on every stake money.
Meanwhile, the winning amount must be promptly deducted and remitted monthly to KADIRS by every licensed gaming company in the state.
Unfortunately, he said, gaming offices across the state, about 1,500 of them, have been operating illegally without due registration and licence.
Also, they have failed to make the requisite remittances to the state government.
“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.
It was also gathered that, apart from operating illegally, the gaming companies were owing or withholding tax liabilities of close to N500 million, viz:
- Bet9ja — N325 million,
- Bet King N68 million and,
- Access bet N33 million.
Meanwhile, according to sources, the affected gaming companies make a staggering two billion Naira monthly in the state.