Imo Revenue Board clamps down on defaulting gaming companies

The Imo State Internal Revenue Service, IIRS has embarked on a comprehensive audit, review and subsequent clampdown on defaulting gaming companies in the state owing to the refusal of the gaming companies to pay for the Imo State Lotteries and Gaming Authorities Charitable Fund also called “Good Causes Fund.”
Good causes fund is a form of payment stipulated in the Imo State Lottery and Gaming Authority Law 2021 as duly passed by the Imo State House of Assembly.
The Executive Chairman of IIRS, Hon Chief Emeka A Udegbulem disclosed this much recently while interacting with journalists at the Service’s head office, Okigwe road Owerri. Hon Udegbulem said the gaming operators in the state was in the habit of flagrantly refusing to pay the levies that should accrue to the state coffers and thereby denying the state of over One Billion Naira annually in Good Causes Fund.
However, the Executive Chairman said in collaboration with technical partners, the Service has deployed technology in calculating what he called “regularity of stakes and gross earnings of these gaming companies,” with which it was able to compute the outstanding tax liabilities of the gaming companies.
According to him, “the Service has embarked on comprehensive audit of tax liabilities of gaming operators in the state and our preliminary findings reveal that these gaming companies have short-changed the state of what is due to the state to the tune of over one billion Naira annually.
“Also, we have found out through a recent survey we conducted that these operators encourage under age betting in their various betting centres. This is to say the least condemnable. This is at variance with the principle of responsible betting, which we have been preaching.
“To this end therefore and in conjunction with our technical partners, we have embarked on a very rigorous enlightenment campaign, which we call ‘responsible gaming campaign’ aimed at educating betting operators in the state on the dangers of underage betting not only in the state but worldwide.
“in furtherance to this, the end of the responsible gaming campaign will mean that betting operators will acquire a government approved ‘responsible gaming sticker’ from the head office of IIRS. The acquisition of this sticker means that, that particular betting operator and its employees have been trained and certified to carry out betting operations in the state.”
The Executive Chairman further said that the acquisition of the sticker is mandatory on all betting centres in the state as defaulters risk their centres being closed.

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