Nigeria’s gaming industry, according to Lottery Operator’s Forum, was reportedly worth approximately $70 billion as at 2016. Since, the industry continued to leap progressively. In fact, the recent gaming industry conference which held in 2021 was graced by numerous players, including Senator George Akume, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, as well as officials from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the National Lottery Regulation Commission (NLRC). In indicating their growth, the industry was also reported to have generated an excess of about N250 million in 2019.
Prior to the conference in 2021, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published a report in 2021, where factors such as a broadening customer base, foreign entrants influx, increased regulations and partnerships, were expected to speed up the development process of the industry. Another report published in February 2023 by 6Wresearch, Nigeria Online Gaming Market (2021-2027), noted that the gaming industry was projected to experience immense growth over the forecast period as a result of the development of cloud based platforms within the digitalization development process in the country.
NLN to create jobs, as well as promote entrepreneurship development.
In fact, the commencement of operations by the National Lottery of Nigeria(NLN) was said to have confirmed the accuracy of this report. Significantly, it has also been a boon for the growth of the industry. Although, operated by Systems and Gaming Nig Limited, and regulated by the NLRC, it has been described as digital, innovative and expansive, thus, tipped to improve economic developments and enhance transformational changes. Olayiwola Onafowakan, the Managing Director of NLN, noted that the National Lottery of Nigeria posed numerous economic benefits. He stated that it would not only create jobs and encourage entrepreneurship development, but also help by being a valuable revenue source for the government.
He included that many Nigerians would have the opportunity to change their lives forever and certain percentages of proceeds from ticket sales, also being donated to charitable causes. Assessing it to that if other countries like the United Kingdom, there was an indication that a national lottery can be immensely beneficial, by positively transforming lives and directly contributing to socio-economic development. The National Lottery in the United Kingdom, for instance, was said to have created about 5000 millionaires, whilst raising about £40 billion for charitable causes.
Lottery commission to increase revenue to help FG fund other projects.
It was indicated that the NLN offering games included the Naija Mega Jackpot which had the N45 million starting prize, the 6/49 lotto and other instant games where about N50,000 could be won every hour. This, they noted, would improve national development and further facilitate infrastructural growth. Olayiwola stated that the operations were making provisions for accessible and fun experiences, which would let more people win large sums of money. He also revealed that initiatives such as the Good Cause Foundation were also being organized, for the facilitation of development across different regions in the country.
Additionally, the National Lottery Commission disclosed that revenues would be increased to help the government’s quest for funding other projects. Also, the commission was said to be enacting partnerships in a bid to improve its activities, exactly like the PwC 2017 report suggested. In fact, the telecommunications and payment industries were said to have been vital in making these gaming activities accessible to mobile users in the country. It was revealed that gamers could access the games via USSD with the *9966# code.
Integrity committee to be present at live draws for credibility assurances.
Olayiwola further revealed that asides the partnerships, the NLN also had offerings different from other providers. He said that a wide range of promotional offers and loyalty bonuses were also being offered to their customers. It was established that the excellent management and commitment to fairness and customer satisfaction evidently set the NLN asides from its counterparts. The Managing Director revealed that an integrity committee would be present at every live draws for observation of the processes, for credibility assurances.