A strong regulatory system that helps the industry to thrive is the key to success for gambling in Africa, according to the head of one of the continent’s leading gaming authorities.
Lanre Gbajabiamila, the chief executive of the Lagos State Lottery Board (LSLB), will discuss the achievements of his organisation when he delivers one of the keynote speeches at World Regulatory Briefing Africa (WrB Africa), which will take place in Lagos, Nigeria on April 11-12 and is organised by Clarion Events, the team behind ICE Totally Gaming.
Ahead of his appearance, Gbajabiamila told TotallyGaming.com that the legalisation of many forms of gambling in the Nigerian state has been beneficial because a robust licensing system has enabled law-abiding operators to offer a range of regulated products, raising money for good causes while also deterring criminals.
The LSLB splits its focus into four areas – regulate, protect, promote and generate – meaning that it plays a role in the development of the legal gambling sector, while also keeping check on the various licensed lottery, betting and other operators.
“Regulation has proved very effective,” said Gbajabiamila, who has led the LSLB since 2007. “Prior to the set up of LSLB, the industry in Lagos was largely informal and unregulated. Aggrieved persons had no means of seeking redress for wrong done and the state also lost revenue that could have been generated.
“The benefits are job opportunities, wealth creation and social development of the state. Our major concerns are always unlicensed operators and the threat of underage gaming.”
Gbajabiamila believes that strong regulation has allowed operators to attract customers from across society, including wealthy individuals who may have previously been repelled by criminality within the sector.
The move from unregulated to a regulated system will be of great interest to attendees at WrB Africa, at which attendees from across the gaming industry will discover more about the current regulatory landscape in sub-Saharan Africa and gain exclusive insight into key market opportunities.