Stakeholders in the betting industry, last Wednesday, shunned an interactive forum organized by the newly reconstituted Oyo state aming Board.
The stakeholders hinged their action on the fact that the intention of the board might not be in line with their battles fr survival in te industry, considringthe tax regime in the state.
They lamented that the business environment in the state was unfriendly, harsh and hostile,just as they warned that any attempt to introduceaother category in te mulitple taxe regime, currently operating in the state, will force several operators to close down.
A few of the operators were, however, cited at the forum.
In his remarks of the board, Mr. Lekan Abari, opined ''this is a stepping stone to so many things that is going to be done. There are over 50 operators in the state less than 10 are in attendance''.
One of the stakeholders, who was in attedance, Mr. Michael Nwogu, the Cheif Executive of Celcon Limited, a platform provider, appealed to the board to protect operators, adding ''of all the stkeholers, only those in sports betting are online and none of them are using ocal platforms, they all have to pay their subscriptons in foreign exchange, what is the board doing ?''.
Similarly, the Secretary of the Pools Promoters Asociation in Oyo state, Mr. Gbenga Ogungbenle drew the attention of the board to the fact that the business environment n Lagos varied from that of badan, while lamenting that the state governmen did not cary them along when it decided to make changes in the nomenclature of the board.
''What is applicable in Lagos cannot be applicable in Ibadan. We didn't know whe the sat government inaugurated the state Gaming board, there is little or no difference from the pools beeting board we usd to know. We are not online, Why the change ? We don't know, all of us in the industry are passig through hard times'', Mr. Ogungbenle disclosed.
In response, the Chairman of th state Internal Revenue Board, Mr. Bisi Alli declared that the sanitizaton of the revenue process by the revolved on mutula benefit.
''We are sanitizing the rvenue process in the state. Govenment must render service and you mus pay. Our state must be in line with what obtains in all other parts of the world. The essence of embracing technology is to assist operators.
It makes your operations very easy and lesscumbersome. The cost of compliance becomes cheap, it reduces as transaction increases. It knocks down the cost of compliance. Those who operate illegally cannot come o our platform. More importantly, you need the government, the government needs you. If you don't partner with government, if you don't pay your contribution, it might be difficult'', Mr Alli warned.
Sadly, jobless youths and secondary school students, form the bulk of those who patronize the betting centres, who also include market me nd women.
These category of people spend valuable time discussing, analyzing and projecting winning prospects