18 March 2019

Liberia's Gaming Industry Under Scrutiny

In fulfillment of its social responsibility, the attention of African Journalists Network is seriously awakened to the operations of betting and gaming companies in Liberia that are helping to reduce unemployment among the country's youthful population.

According to the group's press statement issued in Monrovia, there has been concerns raised in recent times from various quarters in the Liberian society regarding what appeared to be series of illegal activities occurring at the National Lottery Authority, regarding the issuance of sport betting licenses to entities, without first conducting due diligence and verifying their financial abilities.

"Having followed the betting and gaming sector in Liberia over the years, we call on the Management of the National Lottery Authority to thoroughly investigate the financial potency, history of operations and credibility of betting and gaming companies who applied for license before granting then same, the group cautioned.

The pro-democracy group holds the views in its press statement that this will ascertain as to whether a company possesses the ability to make regular salary payments to its employees and contractors, as well as pay legitimate winners when customers play.

"In this light, we condemn in the strongest terms, the allegations that the National Lottery Authority has granted sports betting license to GoBet231 to operate in Liberia without immediately paying the required license fees into government's revenue," the group said.

"Claims that operational license was granted in advance, with payments to be done on a stipulated basis is an unfair practice against legal betting and gaming companies, and discourages free competition in the betting and gaming sector of Liberia," the pro-democracy group press statement noted.

However, the African Journalist Network commended the Management of Winners Incorporated, Liberia's number one legally registered sports betting company for its enormous contributions towards the dwindling Liberian Economy.

"Since the emergence of Winners Incorporated on the Liberian betting market, the company has boosted the Liberian economy by providing jobs for hundreds of Liberians in the country," it said in the statement.

At the same time, the group says testimonies from hundreds of Liberians show that Winners Incorporated has improved the lives of many young Liberians, and is helping to reduce the huge poverty rate in the country.

"Winners Incorporated has proven to be a company with a soft heart for corporate social responsibility, especially for less fortunate children and the elderly."

"Giving back to the communities in a socially responsible way, and the provision of hundreds of short and long term jobs for many Liberians throughout the country are key attributes of Winners Incorporated."

Meanwhile, the group is interested in the National Lottery Authority to carry on due diligence and fact findings before licensing companies to operate betting and gaming activities, and also provide oversight on operators of betting companies; aimed at making sure that they are in line with regulations governing betting and gaming sector of Liberia.

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