By: Ifeanyi Okonkwo (Anambra),
A Bill for a Law to regulate and control the establishment of Gaming Activities in Anambra State has passed its second reading in the Anambra State House of Assembly.The Bill sponsored by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Victor Jidefor Okoye, Member representing Anambra West, was read on the floor of the House on Tuesday, 20th February, 2018, in the State House of Assembly.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Victor Jidefor, while giving emphasis to the importance of the Bill said, “The reason for this very Bill is to help check mate the activities of Game establishments like Bet9ja, Nairabet and other gambling firms”.
“This very Bill will provide avenue to stop under aged citizens, who most times steal from their parents or indulge in other ills just to gamble”.
Hon. Okoye continued by stating that, “If we pass this Bill, it will also be a means of generating revenue for Anambra State, in the sense that there will be registration fees and screening of interested gaming houses before license will be given to them.”
The Majority Leader, called on other Honourable Members of the House, to support the passage of the Bill.
He also opined that, Gov. Willie Obiano should appoint board members whose functions will be screening of the agents of gaming houses, issuing of work permit amongst other functions.
Some of the members who added their voices in support of the Bill, told REALITY that they all feel it should be considered by the House and passed, as it is for the interest of the state.
The Minority Leader Hon. Onyebuchi Agustine Offor representing Ekwusigo Constituency, Hon Uche Okafor representing Ayamelum Constituency and Hon. Agbodike Pascal representing Ihiala 2, also gave their supporting voices to the Bill.
“Establishing of this Bill has a lot of merit. The nonexistence of bills like these has given room for those involved in these business to manage and run it anyhow they like”, the Minority Leader stated.
Hon. Iruoba Kingsley Chukwuma representing Nnewi South said, “This Bill could not have come at a better time than now. Gaming has come to stay. This Bill will checkmate a lot of atrocities involved including the money laundry aspect”.
Speaking to reporters after the day’s seating, the Majority Leader said, “This move is to inject discipline in the system. This is not targeted at any individual and it’s not witching hunting anyone and I am happy that a committee has been given two weeks to present their report before the third and final passage of the bill.
“Even those online are not excluded in this and for those who will say their headquarters are in any part of this country are also included because as long as they operate and are being patronized by Anamberians, then they will have to contribute to the revenue of the state”.