The House of Representatives has asked the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to include National Identity Number (NIN) as a requirement for all gaming operators in Nigeria.
The green chamber said this will enable authorities to verify and identify customers of gambling platforms.
When the lower parliament’s request is implemented, this implies that Bet9ja, BetKing, SportyBet, NairaBet and other gaming platforms in the country will require NIN from gamers before staking.
The green chamber passed the resolution during the plenary session on Thursday following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ibrahim Isiaka, a lawmaker from Ogun state.
While moving his motion, Isiaka said integrating NIN as a requirement for betting will protect the customers and operators in the sector.
“The global gaming market is undoubtedly a huge one estimated to generate between $400 to $500 billion yearly and with the consistency of the current trends, by 2022, it is set to be worth around $565 billion with increasing amounts of revenues coming from online gaming in its many forms,” he said.
“When such large amounts of money are exchanged and transacted quickly through relatively anonymous interactions, there is a significant risk that criminals will be tempted to use the situation for money laundering.
“With age-restricted businesses like casinos and online gaming platforms, the critical barrier to entry for customers is age and identity verification, therefore there is an increased need for such verifications in virtual situations in order to secure both the customers and the operators.
“One of the basic purposes of the national identity Number is for identification, as it not only serves to identify the individual holder but also curbs duplication of identities.
“It is imperative for regulators to place a premium on data security of gamers and gaming operators and one readily available way to achieve this is to integrate the National identity Numbers (NIN) into the data collection of both new and existing customers.”
The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to voice vote by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house.
Subsequently, the house mandated the committee on governmental affairs to ensure compliance.
Akin Alabi, the lawmaker representing Egbeda/Ona Ara federal constituency, is the chairman of the committee on governmental affairs and the founder of NairaBet.
It is not clear if he will recuse himself from the committee’s legislative duty to avoid a conflict of interest.