Lagos Lottery Board Overshoots Target

Yemisi Izuora

Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB) has exceeded its set target just as it called for full support and commitment of lottery operators in the State towards achieving the Board set plans to make Lagos gaming sector the best in Africa.

Speaking at the 2020 Lagos Gaming Operators’ Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr. Bashir Abiola Are, advised the operators to always focus on positivity.

Are disclosed that the Board met the set target and recorded over 100 per cent increase in the set target by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget despite the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that enviable accomplishment amid the numerous wrongs that characterized year 2020, is a testament to the grace of God and the tenacity of a relentless team of hardworking individuals at the State lotteries board.

He said: “As we are approaching another year of uncertainty, it is imperative for us to always focus on positivity. We must be open-minded to challenges and always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

As LSLB aims to raise the bar higher, we will need the full support of operators, while working together to help you build and sustain your businesses.

Abiola Are while commending the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the sterling leadership qualities of the Governor has reflected in the steadfast progress currently being experienced in the State despite the unfortunate turn of events in 2020.

He also hailed the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat for his unwavering devotion to the successful implementation of the campaign promises made to the good people of Lagos State, adding that Dr. Hamzat has been a reliable partner-in-growth to Governor Sanwo-Olu in actualizing the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the present administration in Lagos State.

The LSLB boss who commended the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Rabiu Olowo, for his advisory role and open-door policy, also appreciated the licensed operators for their commitment in ensuring that the board exceeded its targeted revenue.

Speaking on the activities of LSLB in 2020, Are disclosed that with the astounding support of Governor Sanwo-Olu and the dutiful Lagos State House of Assembly, the agency achieved a monumental feat of getting its bills aimed at harmonizing the Lagos State Gaming and Lotteries Authority laws, passed.

He also commended the cooperation of the Law Reforms Commission, which contributed in no small measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “Year 2020 will be remembered in the minds and hearts of people for generations to come. Like a thief in the night, it stole the smiles and joy of millions around the world with the various catastrophic events. From the life changing COVID-19 pandemic, to the destruction of lives and properties by multiple explosions, and even the desolation of infrastructure during the #EndSARS protest. I empathize with anyone who might have lost a family member, business partner, or friend. My heart also goes out to those currently recuperating from financial, medical, and educational mishap.

“Due to movement restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we implemented a work from home policy that made it possible for continuation of promoting, regulating, and protecting the gaming industry in Lagos state. We were able to exceed our given target by more than 100 per cent. This enviable accomplishment amid the numerous wrongs that 2020 ushered is a testament to the grace of God and the tenacity of a relentless team of hardworking individuals.”

In her address, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-Olu on State Lotteries, Ms. Olufunmilola Olotu, urged all stakeholders to give Lagos State Lotteries Board all their support and commitment towards achieving the set plans to make the Lagos gaming sector the best in Africa and to promote entertainment and tourism as encapsulated under the THEMES agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Olotu said LSLB has collaborated with lottery operators in the State and held series of meetings to come up with detailed framework for actualisation of Eko Games, adding that the Board will champion Eko Games and oversee the total operations of the games to ensure a controlled and regulated lottery sector in the State.

She said Lagos State Lotteries Board as at November 30, 2020 has a total of 85 licences across various gaming categories, which are Public Online Lottery (8), Online Sports Betting (28), Casino (18), Gaming Machine (7), Pool Betting (14), Other Games (9) and Scratch Cards (1).

Speaking at the event, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Finance, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, said: “The Lagos State Lotteries Board is more like a philanthropist agent of government. We appreciate the fact that the money accrued to the agency is spent on good courses; good courses that bothered on improvement, infrastructure, social and health.

“They have embarked on a lot of iconic projects that impact on the lives of people. They have been able to respond positively to the need of Lagosians, especially those who are in needs, the vulnerable.

“In term of sports, they have contributed so immensely. They have contributed on things that bother on infrastructure renewal, security of the state. They have supported all the agents of government.”

Nineteen notable operators received awards in various categories during at the event. Among the recipients of the awards are renowned philanthropist, Sir Kessington Adebutu, Baba Ijebu (The Pioneer Award); Premier Lotto of Premier Lotto Limited (Public Online Lottery Outstanding Contributor’s Award); Golden Chance Lotto of Golden Chance Ventures Limited (Best Corroborative Award); Betway of Digi Bay Limited (Online Sport Betting Best Customer Centric Award), Betking of SV Gaming Limited (Best Performing Operator’s and Game Changer awards); Bet9ja of KC gaming Network Limited (Outstanding Contributor’s Award) and Nairabet of Over the Top Entertainment Limited (Pioneer award).

Others are 1xbet.ng of Beaufortbet Nigeria Limited (Most Improved Operators award); Hotfun café of Sax Innovative Network Limited (Gaming machine outstanding contributor’s award); Liberty Pool of Rasholl Investment Nigeria Limited (Pool betting outstanding contributor’s award); Fidelity Bank PLC (Promotional competition, banking sector); Frieslandcampinawamco PLC (FMCG sector); Dangote Cement PLC (Manufacturing sector); MTN Nigeria Communications PLC (Telecoms sector) and Naijabingo of Zaretan Entertainment Limited (Other games outstanding contributors award).

In the three casino category, Federal Palace Hotel & Casino, Gaming System Centre Limited (777 Casino) and Royal Partners Casino and Games Limited (Royal Mermaid Casino) won the outstanding contributor’s awards in categories A and B awards respectively.

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