Anambra State government has explained that it suspended all casino and gaming services in hotels, restaurants and bars over alleged fraudulent activities perpetrated in the centres.
The government also stated that it has not banned the operations of Bet9ja and other similar betting outfits in the state.
A statement jointly signed by the commissioners for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, Homeland Affairs, Comrade Don Onyenji and Chief Chikodi Anara; and the Chairman Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Richard Madiebo, accused hotels, restaurants and bars, operators of casino games machines of non-transparency, in payment for games winning which it said were serious abuse of the global best practice. The statement invited representatives of all the affected businesses to a meeting at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka for revalidation.
The statement read: “The Anambra State government has observed the fraudulent and criminal activities through which casino and gaming operators defraud Ndi Anambra. The Ministry of Culture, Entertainment and Tourism is in receipt of several petitions for manipulations of casino game machines and non-transparency in payment for game-winning which are serious abuses of global best practices.
“This fraudulent practice will not be allowed to thrive under the watch of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo’s administration and therefore must be dealt with immediately. Consequently, the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, AIRS and Ministry of Homeland Affairs hereby direct operators of casino games in hotels, restaurants and bars to suspend all game and casino operations with immediate effect pending the conclusion of investigations.”