Covid-19: Sports Betting Platforms Wants 3-year Tax Holiday
Operators of sports betting firms in the Nigerian gaming industry have called on the government for a three-year tax holiday or a 50 per cent tax cut due to the losses they have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.
The operators revealed this in a virtual meeting with the Director-General of National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lanre Gbajabiamila, on Saturday.
Narrating their challenges, several of the operators expressed frustration with the lockdown imposed by the government, claiming it had adversely affected their business, thereby reducing their projected revenue.
“The operators therefore came to the unanimous consensus; asking that they be granted a three years tax holiday or at least reduce their taxes by 50 per cent. They also urged government not to introduce new taxes during this pandemic period,” a statement by the commission read.
In his response, Gbajabiamila said the Federal Government would ensure the sports betting sub sector of the Nigerian gaming industry does not suffer any undue setbacks during the pandemic.
However, the operators further urged the NLRC to approach the issue of remote gaming with utmost seriousness. Stating that it was wrong to allow foreign betting companies to continue to poach businesses from Nigerian gaming space without being regulated or making any returns to the Nigerian government, unlike the case of local gaming operators.
The NLRC boss said the meeting became pertinent, not only to ensure close contact with the operators, but also to review their operational challenges in the face of the pandemic and the lockdown.
He said, "As your regulator, we feel obliged to touch base with you, find out the challenges you are facing in your business and see how we can continue to work together, despite the difficulties occasioned by this ugly pandemic."
"Let me assure everyone that government will do the best it can to protect every business within the industry, we cannot fold our arms and watch our industry with the huge investment therein go down the drain."
"I am optimistic that the Federal Government will not hesitate to give necessary approval for any form of palliative that will ensure your business remains viable because ours is a very peculiar industry which if properly harnessed would adequately shore up the much-needed revenue for government."