In a bid to curb the menace of irresponsible gaming and gambling, the Oyo State Government has said it is concluding arrangements with relevant specialists and experts, including medical and psychological, to provide rehabilitation for people who are addicted to gambling.
The Director-General, Oyo State Gaming Board, Olajide Boladuro, disclosed this after a tour of two Ibadan-based radio stations towards creating awareness of the activities of the Board about curbing irresponsible gaming habits, especially underage gaming, given the current school holidays across the state.
Boladuro assured all stakeholders, including operators in the state, that they have nothing to fear in the operation and running of their business activities as long as they operate according to the laws guiding the operations of their business in the state.
He said: “They must have all the requirements and all that is expected for them to operate. We are here not only to regulate their activities but to also protect both the operators and players. Operators can access our website for all requirements or contact our state office at Agodi Secretariat for enquiries on any area that needs clarity. We recently won the national award as the most interactive site and we can assure you that their needs can be met there.”
The DG urged participants to patronise operators licensed by the state government so that they would be able to lodge their complaints of any sharp practice by such operators to the government. He said doing so would make it easier for their winnings to be traced and recovered for them.
Boladuro also appealed to parents to curb the habit of sending underage children to gaming centres, while also advising operators not to allow underage children in their centres.
He stated: “We kick against underage gaming in every form and we have encouraged operators not to allow underage in their gaming centres. We appeal to parents and guardians to play responsibly and not engage their underage children. A fine of N500,000 awaits anyone caught in the act of engaging in underage gaming.”
Participants who engage in gaming must first locate the approved license of the operators which they have been mandated to display at their centres. A sticker warning against underage gaming too must be displayed in every approved gaming centre,” the DG reiterated.
Boladuro appealed to media houses to help in the fight against illegal and irresponsible gaming by sponsoring commercials, jingles, advertorials or any other form of publicity by unlicensed operators.
Boladuro said: “We are already speaking with relevant stakeholders such as a psychologist, medical experts and researchers in some educational institutions in the state to facilitate the rehabilitation of addicted gamblers, saying the state is putting machinery in place to identify some of the addicts and work at helping them overcome it.
He asserted that the government always preached responsible gaming