The Anambra State Government has ordered the immediate suspension of operations of all casinos and gaming centres in the state.
The directive followed alleged fraudulent and criminal activities observed in their operations.
This directive was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment; Tourism, Donatus Onyenji and Chairman, Anambra State Internal Revenue Service; Richard Madiebo and the Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Chikodi Angra.
They claimed that the government received a worrisome number of petitions pertaining the manipulation of casino machines and non-transparency in payment for winnings.
According to the statement, the allegations amounted to serious abuse of global best practices in the industry which the government under the watch of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo would not condone.
It said the fraudulent practices by the gaming centres would no longer be condoned under the watch of the present administration.
They said a meeting had been called for all operatives of the gaming centres with a view to addressing issues of enumeration and validation of hotel licenses as well as security.
It said hotel revalidation forms would be distributed at the venue for all categories of hotels and tourism enterprises and that any hotel that was not profiled or without a hotel license would be closed down according to the state tourism and hospitality law.
The statement read, “This fraudulent practice will not be allowed to thrive under the watch of Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s administration and therefore must be dealt with immediately.
“Consequently, the Anambra State Government hereby directs operators of casino games in hotels, restaurants and bars to suspend all gaming and casino operations with immediate effect pending the conclusion of investigations.
“The government has therefore called for a meeting of all hotel owners and managers in the state on October 21 at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre.”