HOW TO OBTAIN BETTING LICENSE IN NIGERIA
The Nigerian sports betting and gaming industry has grown astronomically in the last few years. This exceptional growth can be attributed to the large population, especially the number of youths, increased access to digital telephones, successful internet penetration and increased access to internet-enabled devices. There are various gaming laws in Nigeria regulating gambling and gaming license in Nigeria at both federal and state governments.
REQUIREMENTS FOR SETTING UP GAMING COMPANY IN NIGERIA
Any company or entity wishing to do business in Nigeria must be incorporated under with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The National Lottery (Amendment) Regulations 2007 stipulated conditions for the registration of a company wishing to undertake a lottery business in Nigeria.
Upon the registration of a betting company, the operational license must be obtained from the National Lottery Regulatory Commission in respect of a national license. To operate in Lagos State, the company must also obtain a license from the Lagos State Lottery Board. The same procedure must be followed by a company that intends to operate outlets in any other state in Nigeria. Most states in Nigeria have a Lottery Board that monitor or regulate betting activities in each state. The states that currently do not have lottery boards regulate gaming through their state boards of internal revenue.
By and large, the major laws applicable to gaming activities in Nigeria as follows:
- National Lottery Act 2005
- National Lottery Regulations 2007(as amended)
- Lagos State Lotteries Law 2004 (applicable only in Lagos State) among various lotteries laws in other states.
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING GAMING IN NIGERIA
PROCEDURE AND STEPS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF BETTING LICENSE IN NIGERIA
Pursuant to the NLRC Guidelines, the Applicant seeking to obtain a Betting License must submit a proposal to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (‘The Commission”) with the following information/ documents.
- Completed National Lottery Regulatory Commission application form
- An application letter stating the intention of the applicant
- Non-refundable Application and Processing fee of N2,000,000 (Two Million Naira) payable to the Commission
- General Business Information to wit:
- Incorporation documents: Certificate, MEMART and Application Form 1.1 (or Form CAC2 and CAC7) or Form 1.1
- The applicant company must have a minimum share capital of N30,000,000.00 (Thirty Million Naira)
- Evidence of filing annual returns to date with Corporate Affairs Commission
- Profile of the Company and each of its Directors
- Address of administrative office and locations across Nigeria
- Evidence of Domain name registration with .(ng/.com)
- Proposed Brand: Evidence of registration with Ministry Of Trade and Investment, Trade name, logo and colours
- Evidence of registration with the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering.
- Name and profiles of all Directors and Key Personnel including Company Secretary, Compliance Officer, Accountant, ICT Manager, Operations Manager, Agency Manager(s) and Customer Care Manager
- Qualification and relevant gaming industry experience of Directors or Key Personnel
- Evidence of tax payment by Directors and Key Management Staff for the preceding year
- Copy of Organogram and Proposed Organizational Structure
- Operational Information
- Details of planned game events (live betting, sportsbook, virtual games and so on) and comprehensive modalities for each of the game events
- Proposed distribution channels: retail, web-based, SMS, Mobile app or other channels
- Operations, Marketing and Distribution Strategy showing expansion plans across Nigeria
- Betting modalities, Terms & Conditions of participation and game rules
- A Sports betting industry analysis including SWOT analysis and competitive advantage of the proposed sports betting scheme.
- Financial Information
- The proposed investment in the sports betting scheme
- Source of funding and financing plans: equity, foreign investment, loans and applicable terms of investment
- Evidence of financial capability to fund the operation of a sports betting scheme including Company’s Bank Statement of the last 2 (Two) years
- Five (5) Year financial projection for the betting scheme: profit and loss account showing investment, sales/income, winnings/ prize money, tax obligation, operating expenses, third party suppliers etc
- Details of payment solution provider and proposed integration plan with such providers.
- A service agreement with a provider (where applicable)
- Technical information
- Profile of technical service providers, partners, telecoms providers and suppliers:
- Details of Platform\ gaming application developer
- Details of Odds providers
- Details of Other integration services providers (if applicable)
- Details of Hosting provider (self-hosting or cloud hosting), database/ back up service provider
- Details of contact persons for service providers
- Copies of executed SLA, Partnership/ Joint Venture agreements with providers and suppliers, where applicable. (All third party Agreements/Contracts will be subject to NLRC approval )
- Technology documentation detailing the software (Operating systems, Database management systems, core business logic applications), Hardware (servers, routers, switches, firewalls) and other technology implementations (securities, DR etc).
- Architectural illustration of technical operation flow for the proposed sports betting scheme
- Industry based Certification of the platform (from approved and recognized testing labs) and any other evidence of compliance to industry Standardizations.
At the end of the application process, the Applicant will be required to make a presentation to the Commission. Application review takes 10 working days.
If the Application successful, Applicant shall proceed to make the payment of N50,000,0000 (Fifty Million Naira for the license)
In conclusion, it is worthy of note to state that the terms and conditions that underpin a game of skill and chance between the players and company are basically contractual, however, they have to conform to regulations and laws of the country. For instance, a proposed betting or lottery company must obtain an appropriate license from NLRC before it can commence operation. The Terms and Conditions of any betting company are also subject to the approval of regulators. The NLRC, as well as LSLB, have a minimum age requirement for wagers or stakers. In all instances, the terms and conditions of all betting companies operating in Nigeria must include among other things, the minimum age of persons allowed to place battings.
Finally, it is also advisable that the Applicant joins the Association of Nigerian Bookmakers (ANB) for easy of processing of license with the regulatory agencies.
By Corporate & Commercial Law Team at Resolution Law Firm