Court Sentences 2 Illegal Lottery Operators To 2-Year Jail

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The Special Offences Court in Alausa, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, has sentenced two illegal lottery operators to two years imprisonment for violating the lottery law of the state.

The convicts are Biodun Adegbola and Ahmed Toro. They have been given an option of N500,000 fine or two years imprisonment.

The convicted persons were arrested last month at Isokoko, Agege for conducting illegal lottery using coupon in Lagos State.

The General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila said the board would not relent in its effort at ridding the State of illegal lottery activities.

He added that approved and authorized public online lottery operators in Lagos State are Premier Lotto Limited, Winners Golden Chance Venture and Winlot Global Resources Limited, warning that patronizing illegal operators was a punishable offence.

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Gbajabiamila identified lottery as a lucrative venture for potential investors and advised all illegal and unlicensed lottery operators in Lagos to regularize their operation with the Board on or before Friday, 29 March, 2013.

In January, the board had arrested a Serbian, Mr. Nenad Inkovic  and 10 other people who engaged in illegal lottery and online sports betting without being licensed by the board. Inkovic was caught while operating illegal online sports betting at Ilaje Street, Ajah area of the state.

Others were arrested while carrying out illegal lottery operation at Iju/ishaga, Ojodu Berger, Lagos Island, Ajah, Ikeja and Olowo Ira. Those arrested were arraigned in court.

Illegal lottery activity is a breach of Section 43 (1) (b) of the Lagos State Lotteries Law. The government had vowed that it would not relent until it stamped out illegal lottery activities from the state.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga