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Sunday, May 19, 2024

I Was Misquoted, I Never Banned Bet9ja in Anambra —Soludo



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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has debunked the news making round that he banned Bet9ja and other form of betting activities in the state and closed down all the betting shops and centres in the state.

Governor Soludo disclosed this through a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Culture, Entertainments and Tourism, Mr. Don Onyenji, in which he also explained that he was misquoted.

Captioned “Re: Public Service Announcement on Casino Games Machines in Anambra State”, the statement reads: “The attention of the Anambra state Government has been drawn to the various misinterpretations of her directive to operators of Casino Games domiciled in hotels and restaurants in the state to suspend their operations as a result of written and video petitions on suspected fraudulent practices, lack of transparency and non-payment of Game winnings to players.

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“The directive read inter alia that ‘The Anambra State Ministry of Culture, Entertainment And Tourism in collaboration with the Anambra state Internal Revenue Service AIRS and the Ministry of Homeland Affairs hereby directs all operators of Casino Games within Hotels, Restaurants and Bars to suspend all operations with immediate effect pending the conclusion of investigations.’

“The announcement also invited all Hotels Owners and Bars in the State to a meeting on Friday 21st October, 2022 to discuss security and other service and policy issues.

“However, it is grossly unfortunate that some mischief makers have added different lottery and Betting activities and organisations to the ban.

“The Anambra state Government hereby states categorically that the suspension was only directed to the Casino Games operators in the hotels and hospitality outfits excluding all other betting centers as stated above.

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“It is pertinent to inform here that Government has identified the owners of the particular casino machine and has advanced investigations on the complaint while the particular owners have temporarily shut down their machines.

“Government will conclude investigations in a record time when the reported case is fairly handled and discharged. The organisation will be allowed to go back to its business quickly when all assurances to protect the interest of all players are made while we assure all such operators of continuous safety of their business in Anambra State.

“Government hereby encourages all other similar operators not affected by this order to go about their operations undistracted or disturbed and discountenance the false reports of fifth columnists.”

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