PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING A SPORTS BETTING LICENCE IN NIGERIA

Sports betting is regulated at the federal and state government levels in Nigeria. The type of sports betting activity a company wants to carry out will determine where the licence or permit can be obtained.The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) empowered by the National Lottery Regulations 2007 (as amended) and National Lotteries Act 2015 is the regulatory agencyat the national level and otherstate lotteries board and equivalent state municipal laws like the Lagos state Lotteries Law 2004 and Lagos state Lotteries Board (LSLB).

The categories of licences or permits granted by the NLRC include; lottery licence, sports betting licence and promotional lottery licence. This article focuses on procedure for the grant of a sport betting permit.

Licencing Procedure:

Application Stage:

 A proposal is to be submitted to NLRC together with the necessary documents including:

  • a completed NLRC application form;
  • an application letter stating the intention of operating a sports betting company;
  • a non-refundable application fee of N2,000,000;
  • company incorporation documents;
  • evidence of trademark registration; and
  • evidence of registration with the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering.

Presentation and Review Stage: 

The applicant will be invited to make a presentation to the NLRC to justify the grant of the sports betting licence. This takes place with 10 working days after the end of the application stage

Provisional Approval stage: 

This is valid for 90 (ninety) days, subject to the fulfilment of the financial requirements and the following conditions which includes:

  • where the Company has foreign ownership and directors, evidence of proper immigration documents and registration with the Nigerian Investment Promotions Commission (NIPC);
  • connection of your online betting platform to NLRC monitoring and reporting platform; and
  • Copies of duly executed service level agreement with third party provider.

Final Approval stage: 

The NLRC will issue a final licence upon the expiration of the provisional approval period.   

Remote Operator Permit 

The applicants are remote Operators if they: 

 1. Operate gaming business outside Nigeria 

2. Seek to provide facilities for gaming in Nigeria Online 

If you already have a valid gaming licence issued by a foreign gaming regulator (your ‘Primary Licence’) and wish to legally offer your services to players in Nigeria, you are required to apply for a Remote Operator Permit, which is valid for Five (5) Years. 

In order to be granted a Nigerian Remote Operator Permit, you will need to successfully complete the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) Permit Approval Process.  

The Nigerian Remote Game Operator is expected to adhere to the Permit Terms and Conditions as issued by the NLRC. These Terms and Conditions are subject to amendment from time to time to ensure consistency with the evolving dynamics of gaming and international best practices. 

The Nigerian Remote Operator Permit will:- 

1. Allow you to advertise Online Gaming Services to players in Nigeria including the publishing of print media in Nigeria subject to the advertising conditions 

2. Allow you to offer the following online games to players in Nigeria namely: casino games, bingo, slots, sports betting, and poker. 

3. Exempt you from any requirement to set up a local subsidiary of your business in Nigeria provided you complete a Non- Residence Registration Request to the Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria (FIRS) which can be completed through the Dedicated System; 

4. Allow you to utilize payment services made available via the Dedicated System; 

5. Allow you to fully repatriate your revenue/funds from Nigeria provided that tax due and payable on player deposits has first been settled through the Dedicated System to the NLRC and to FIRS. 

6. Allow you to subscribe to affiliate programs

Conclusion

Any company interested in operating a sports betting business in Nigeria must apply and obtain a national sports betting license together with a gaming licence in the certain state it wishes to operate in.

By Adeola Oyinlade & Co

Note: The content of this article is anticipated to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Adeola Oyinlade & Co provides help and offer advisory to both local and foreign clients in obtaining sports betting licenses in Nigeria.

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