The Kaduna Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) has sealed off 13 betting shops including those belonging to online bookmaker, Bet9ja, in its latest clampdown on unregistered gambling businesses in the state.
Liye Anthony, who heads the gaming unit at KADRIS, told newsmen five shops each of bet9ja and King Bet, two of Access Bet and one of Derby Lotto had been shut in a campaign that commenced on Thursday.
“We have sent a series of letters to the owners of the companies, asking them to come forward and register in line with the requirements of the law, but failed to do so.
“We, therefore, decided to close down their offices and if they fail to come forward and regularised their operation within the next 14 days, we will prosecute them in accordance with the law,” he said, quoting Section 86 of the state’s tax codification and consolidation law that requires gaming businesses to pay a non-refundable N400,000 registration fee.
It is said that around 1,500 gaming offices operate in the state without licence and without being properly registered, with Anthony saying the operation will not end until they are shut down.
“We will continue to go after them until all the operators of the gaming companies regularise their operations and obtained the needed license to operate in the state.”
Chair of the revenue service, Zaid Abubakar, said the tax liability bill of the gambling businesses sum up to N500 million besides outstanding registration and license fees.
K.C. Gaming Networks, which owns bet9ja, has an unsettled tax of N325 million, while Bet King and Access Bet each owes N68 million and N33 million in that order even though they generate N2 billion monthly in revenue, Abubakar said.