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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Proliferation of betting companies in Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Government Losing Billions of Leones

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Proliferation of betting companies in Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Government Losing Billions of Leones

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The question many people are asking lately is whether the Government of Sierra Leone is benefiting at all from the many betting licenses being issued to a number of new betting companies operating in Sierra Leone and/or is in partnership with Sierra Leone State Lottery Limited.

A research by our investigative team into the method of operation of betting companies revealed massive irregularities and shortcomings perpetrated by a certain foreign national who is also involved in supermarket operations with whom Government of Sierra Leone signed contract with for the provision of Betting Services in Sierra Leone.

Our investigations further revealed with dismay that the said foreign national has turned himself as an Agent for Government and is issuing license all over the place without the consent of Government and the Ministry of Finance who has the mandate to issue such license to potential betting companies.

What is happening to monies generated from providing these licensing including taxes due and payable to Government by these many betting companies is the subject of our investigation and if these monies are remitted to Government coffers.

Current investigation further revealed that the foreign national (to be named in our subsequent editions) DOES NOT have the financial and management capacity to efficiently and effectively run betting companies.

Readers will be shocked at the number of betting license that has been issued by the foreign national to companies at huge cost such as Betsalone, Big Winners, Easy Bet, PMU and lately to Elephant Bet. What is happening to license fees issued to all of these companies is the crux of this investigation.

This awkward arrangement and manner of issuing such licenses is causing huge loss to Government and needs to be checked and urgent attention paid to it by the relevant stakeholders which has the potential to expose Government to potential litigation if not urgently addressed and controlled.

Sources say this individual is now posing as the official betting and license issuer in Sierra Leone and all license fees are being paid directly to him instead of the government purse at Bank of Sierra Leone.

Is it that anyone with money can now walk into the country and open a betting company through this individual without going through the relevant authority and without proper verification process?

More on this in our subsequent editions as we continue to unfold the ugly cartel in the issuance of license to betting companies in Sierra Leone.

To be continued!!!

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