The Anambra State Government has refuted reports claiming it has placed a ban on lotteries in the state, attributing it to the work of ‘mischief makers’.
As reported by Ripples Nigeria, certain casino game operators have been told to suspend activities due to suspected fraud, but Don Onyenji – Anambra Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism in Akwa – has denied the ban extends to lottery operators.
Onyenji called the reports “grossly unfortunate”, with the suspension exclusively directed at casino games operators in the hotel and hospitality trade.
“The attention of the Anambra State Government has been drawn to the various misinterpretations of its directives to operators of casino games domiciled in hotels and restaurants in the state to suspend their operations,” said Onyenji.
“This was as a result of written and video petitions on suspected fraudulent practices, lack of transparency and non-payment of game winnings to players.
“Part of the directives reads: ‘The Anambra State Ministry of Culture, Entertainment And Tourism in collaboration with the Anambra state Internal Revenue Service AIRS and the Ministry of Homeland Affairs hereby directs all operators of Casino Games within Hotels, Restaurants and Bars to suspend all operations with immediate effect’.
“The suspension will last until the conclusion of investigations.”
The commissioner added that the government has located the owners of the specific gambling machine and is moving on with its inquiries into the complaint, with the assurance that the authority is in place to protect all operators and guarantee the safety of their business in the state.
Onyenji also called on all business operators to go about their operations undisturbed and dismiss the false reports of “fifth columnists”.