Nigeria bans unauthorised foreign lotteries

21 January 2020

The Nigerian National Lottery Regulatory Commission has prohibited the operation, promotion and sale of tickets of all unapproved foreign lottery games after multiple instances of operators failing to pay players' winnings.

The Commission said that following an increase the non-payment of winnings by these operators, it found six features of the games that it felt justified the ban.

These were that the games are foreign to Nigeria, the draws are not conducted in Nigeria, the schedule of these draws is “varied and inconsistent,” the draws are “not conducted in a transparent and credible manner,” the public cannot watch the draws the games are not approved by the government.

“The fundamental criteria for the business of lottery are the transparency and credibility of the draw process,” the Commission said. “Where they are absent, the games are compromised and provide opportunities for fraud. This breach of trust is detrimental to the playing public and the reputation of the lottery business.”

As well banning the unauthorised foreign lotteries, the Commission said that lottery operators must conduct all draws in-house and allow members of the public to witness the draws.

Nigeria’s National Lottery Act 2005 allows for foreign lotteries lotteries from other countries to be available to players in Nigeria. However, this may only occur when the President of Nigeria has authorised the availability of the lottery in Nigeria.