* Gaming Board engages stakeholders on ways forward
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Secretary to the Oyo State Government, (SSG), Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun has said that the state government prioritises the welfare of its citizens over revenue generation.
Mrs Adeosun dropped this hint in Ibadan while speaking at the Oyo State Gaming Board stakeholders forum held at the House of Chiefs Secretariat where the boarde engaged gaming operators and other stakeholders on better ways to improving gaming businesses.
The SSG said ” putting the people first is one of the key agenda items so dear to Gov Seyi Makinde”, adding, ” so we are not going to create a situation whereby because we are looking for the revenue or seeking to increase revenue to help the people, we impoverished the people”.
“The welfare of our people is what we need to be saying continuously,and even though we recognize that what the games does is boosting the revenue of the state. But it is very clear that even as we pursue the revenue drive and not just in gaming but everywhere, we ensure that the interest of the people are always considered first”, she said
According to Mrs Adeosun, the present administration in Oyo state had since its inception in May 2019 ” wether in education, health, security and agribusiness, were centered on people.
Lauding the gaming board for organising the meeting, the SSG stressed that the board has brought up very pertinent issues that needed to be addressed and that the theme of the stakeholders interactive forum, ‘Redefining Responsible Gaming’ will guide the operators, the regulators “and even the gamers on the best practices.
“It will also find the balance between generating revenue for the state and maintaining mental welfare of the people of Oyo State.In addition, it will redefined the entire culture of gambling to accommodate only fun and entertainment.”
Director-General of the Oyo state Gaming Board , Mr. Olajide Boladuro, while speaking said the forum with the theme – ‘Redefining Responsible Gaming’ was necessary as part of the activities to regulate the gaming industry, adding that “gaming and lottery industry is gaining attraction in the country”.
Mr Boladuro stated that based on the prospects of the industry, the board has taken it upon itself to address the issue of responsible gambling in the state.
” While we are excited to tap into the enormous revenue potentials that the industry present, our priority is to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. Problem and responsible gambling is a constant focus of ongoing research and advancement world-wide,”
The Oyo state Gaming Board DG noted that the importance of proactive responsible gaming programmes was paramount as a result of the recent market studies estimating that the global casino market alone would expand at a compounded annual growth rate of 10 per cent over the next five years.
Mr Boladuro then expressed optimism that discussions from the forum would chart a new and better path for the operators and other stakeholders in the gaming industry.
A member of the House of Representatives , Honourable Akin Alabi in his remarks of Nairabet Sport Game, said the forum was the first of its kind in the state.
Honourable Alabi stressed that the forum describing it as the right way to go, “because the industry is relatively new and it is a very dynamics industry.”
“We have to stay on top of it, and we have to be abreast of the development, thus the forum has brought different people together to formulate policies that will move the industry forward.” he said.
While urging the Gaming board to come up with a very strong policy that the operators must adhere to, Honourable Alabi tasked the operators to start to regulate themselves through formulation of policies, rules and regulations.