Governor Babatunde Fashola
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
Officials of the Lagos State Government have arrested a Serbian national and ten other persons for alleged illegal online sports betting without being licensed by the state’s lottery regulatory institution.
Alongside the Serbian national, two other illegal sports bet operators and nine public online lottery operators, who were arrested between January and February, had been charged to court for alleged breach of law.
Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, disclosed the development, warning that the state government would no longer tolerate illegal lottery operations in the state.
Gbajabiamila explained that the Serbian national, Mr. Nenad Inkovic, was caught while operating illegal online sports betting at Ajah; an offence which he said contravened the Lagos State Lotteries law.
He said the illegal activity “was a breach of Section 43 (1) (b) of the Lagos State Lotteries Law. The Serbian was charged to court at the Special Offences Court, Alausa, for operating online sports betting illegally. He was granted bail, while his international passport has been seized”.
He disclosed that two illegal sports bet operators and nine public online lottery operators were arrested this year, specifically between January and February for violating the state lottery regulation.
Gbajabiamila explained that the arrest was carried out at Iju-Ishaga, Ojodu Berger, Lagos Island, Ajah, Ikeja and Olowora areas of the state, adding that eight of the offenders “are currently awaiting trial.
He said the board would not relent in its effort to rid the State off illegal lottery activities and that the board would continue to intensify on its enforcement exercises and that any one patronising lottery operator not licensed by the board would be prosecuted and sentenced if found guilty.
He urged the public to patronise only approved and licensed operators by the Lagos State Government through its Lotteries Board. In 2012, the board arrested 15 offenders in Epe, Ketu, Mile 12, Ogba and Ojodu Berger area of Lagos, while seven of the offenders are still on trial.