The Anambra State government has banned the operation of gaming centers in the state over alleged criminal activities.

The ban was contained in a statement on Friday jointly signed by the Commissioner of Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, Donatus Onyenji, and the chairman of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, Richard Madiebo, and Chikodi Angra, the commissioner for homeland affairs.

According to the statement, the government banned gaming centres following petitions alleging manipulation of casino machines and non-transparency in payment for winnings.

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It said the allegations amounted to serious abuse of global best practices in the industry which the government, under the watch of Gov Chukwuma Soludo, would not condone.

The statement reads in part: “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 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.”

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Meanwhile, the government has summoned a meeting of all hotel owners and managers in the state to be held on October 21 at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre.

The meeting will address issues of enumeration and validation of hotel licenses as well as security, warning that it is mandatory.

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