Day 2 of the international gaming conference started with a presentation from Professor Rachel Volberg of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. She led the attendees through “Responsible Gaming in the Lottery Industry: Managing the Paradox.”
The professor showed concern about uncontrollable gaming and its adverse effects. She then spoke on how to minimize and mitigate gambling harms internationally.
Using the US as a case study, Professor Volberg added that proper measures should be put in place to monitor the impact of gaming on people.
“In Massachusetts, we look at health, we also look at crime, we look at traffic impact, we look at environmental impact. We evaluate the effectiveness of the services that are provided”, she said.
Furthermore, Professor Volberg also gave fascinating insights on how to look into the economic impact of gaming.
“We understand a lot about the revenues coming from gambling and where those revenues are going. We know about the types of jobs that have been created and how people are spending their earnings out into the economy, and we know what the operators are spending to engage the services of vendors,” – Professor Volberg said.
The Day 2 panel discussions focused on Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing and KYC about Players and Customers in the industry. Segun Adeyemi, managing partner, Hastruo Solicitors, facilitated it.
The panel speakers showed concern about the issues and challenges associated with identifying and verifying customers for compliance with KYC requirements. They emphasize the lack of uniform KYC processes in the gaming industry.
“We know that the gaming industry is not immune to the risk associated with Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing, and more recently, Proliferation Financing. With the high volume of transactions seen in this sector, a robust KYC policy is very important. What I will suggest in curbing these challenges is having a standardised uniform KYC manual,” said Mrs. Lucy Onwuka, Head of the Department of Communications, Industry, Lottery Promotion, and Adverts, National Fraud Investigation Unit.
Moving on, the second presentation by Lai Labode, CEO of CashToken Rewards Africa, focused on the Nigerian National Reward Program. An innovative program borne out of the partnership of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) with CashToken Rewards Africa.
Mr Labode stressed the need for the gaming industry to reward customers with the Nigerian National Patronage Cash Reward Program (NNPCR) based on performance and profit instead of charity.
“The NLRC is vigorously working to ensure that you reward your customers when they perform so that the national reward will become an allowable expense against your taxes,” Mr Labode said.
Also, there was a panel discussion that dwelled on steps that can be taken to foster synergy among stakeholders to drive a stable gaming ecosystem. Mr. Seni Adio, Managing Partner of Copley Partners, facilitated it.
“If the issue of multiple taxation can be addressed by our regulators, the majority of the problems in the industry can be resolved,” said Bimpe Akingba, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Bookmakers.