16th February, 2012
The Lagos State Government has shut down six illegal casinos in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, over sharp practices and non compliance with the law establishing casinos.
Officials of the Office of the Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue backed by the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit stormed the casinos located in Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Ikeja and Apapa and shut them down.
The affected casinos are Lagoon Casino, located at the premises of Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island; Green Lion Casino, Victoria Island; Towers Casino and Karaoke Bar, Victoria Island; Airport Hotel Casino, Ikeja and Monalido Club, Apapa.
Reacting to the closure of the casinos, Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation and Revenue, Mr Bola Shodipo said the affected ones were shut for not obtaining licenses before operating or failing to renew their licenses on annual basis.
He stated that some of the casinos operated with impunity and that government would not allow such act to continue.
According to him, the business of casino is well regulated, saying that government must sanitise the system.
“Those operating illegally will be shut as we move to sanitise the industry as it is not going to be business as usual,” he said.
According to him, the intention of the government in sanitising the casino industry is not to make money but ensure that the industry is well regulated.
He stated that many of the casinos engaged in sharp practices which were not healthy for the industry.
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By Kazeem Ugbodaga