Government Losing Billions of Leones Due to Unregulated Issuance of Licenses to Emerging Betting Companies


By Amin Kef-Ranger

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 the 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 licenses to potential betting companies.

What is happening to monies generated from providing these licenses 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 clout or capacity to efficiently and effectively run betting companies.

Readers will be shocked at the number of betting licenses that has been issued by the foreign national to companies at huge costs 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 to the Government purse at the 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 authorities and without proper verification process?

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

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