The Oyo State Government indicated its readiness to continue to build a sustainable and responsible gaming environment for residents and stakeholders in the state.
Secretary to the State Government, Professor Olanike Adeyemo, stated at the weekend, noting that the government will continue to explore the opportunities of stakeholders capacity building and exploring industries as well as positive potentials associated with gambling and lottery and gambling policies.
Adeyemo said this at the fifth annual stakeholders’ interactive forum, organised by the Oyo State Gaming Board, held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Jericho, Ibadan.
The interactive forum, which was aimed at engaging gaming operators and other stakeholders on exploring the developmental agenda in the sector in line with Governor Makinde’s Oyo State Roadmap to Sustainable Development 2023-2027, had the theme, “Tax and Task, Building A Sustainable Gaming Environment.”
Prof Adeyemo, in her presentation said the gaming industry is thriving but all stakeholders should ensure sustainability to include appropriate regulations and responsible gaming.
She explained that the Oyo State government has a framework for gaming and lottery operations to protect the citizens and look into opportunities to benefit as a state.
She said: “The summary of my presentation is that this is a really, really thriving industry and we should do what we need to do to make sure that it is sustainable, including appropriate regulations and being responsible in gaming. It has come to stay. What we can do is to explore the opportunity as well as manage the risks that are associated with gambling and lottery.
“We have a gaming and lottery board headed by Honourable Olajide Boladuro, who is doing fantastically well and we look forward to other opportunities that this industry has to give to Oyo State, while at the same time we have a responsible gaming framework in Oyo State to be sure that the citizens are also protected.”
Adeyemo added that responsible gaming, which is also known as responsible gambling is the obligation of all, including gaming operators, the government, regulators, providers, researchers, community groups and individuals.
She stressed that the government can only build a sustainable and responsible gaming environment with the efforts of the stakeholders.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of the Oyo State Gaming Board, Boladuro, appreciated Governor Makinde for the opportunity to serve in his administration, while he also thanked the stakeholders for their support towards the growth of the gaming industry in the state.
Noting that economic sustainability is a very vital issue to state viability, Boladuro stated that the stakeholders’ interactive forum would, among other things, feature conversations around safer gambling, retail gambling in Nigeria, industry opportunities in technology and industrial opportunities in Oyo State.
He expressed optimism that the theme and topics of discussions, which were carefully selected, would drive the innovations for the growth of the state and expansion of many industries, adding that taxation plays a vital role in the gaming industry as it generates revenue for the government and also drives the economy of the state.
He said: “The overall goal of this year’s forum is to project the potentials of the gaming industry for sustainability through proper regulations, management attention to changes in the market and social attitudes, bearing in mind that we need to be transparent, responsible and considerate for potential impact of consumers and society.”
He enjoined regulators to play their parts in the development process.