-The state makes 19 million birr a month in commission from betting companies
-It is 26.6 percent higher than last year’s average monthly earnings
As sport betting expands at a rate never previously seen, the state is reaping record profit. The state-owned National Lottery Administration (NLA) made over 95 million birr in commission in only the last five months.
The National Lottery Administration (NLA) has earned over 95 million birr from betting companies from the 15 percent monthly commission paid in the first five months of the current fiscal year. It equates to earning a commission of 19 million birr each month.
The Administration earned 181 million birr from the betting commission last fiscal year, or approximately 15 million birr every month.
“After implementing the new directive, we are guiding the betting market, taking the necessary measures, and collecting the commission accordingly,” said Tewodros Neway, communications director of the National Lottery Administration.
Based on the new directive, which became effective last year, any company should secure the legal path (a license) from the administration in order to participate in the betting market, according to Tewodros. Even if the administration controls those betting companies licensed to operate sports betting, there are illegal bodies that operate a game dubbed “Virtual Game” without proper recognition.
“We do not grant a license for a virtual game, while the license only applies to betting operators,” Tewodros said, adding, actions are being taken after warnings were issued.
Twenty branches have been closed this fiscal year because of illegal operations. Last month, the Financial Intelligence Service (FIS) undertook a major crackdown on the black market and Hawala money transfer operators, resulting in a number of betting companies’ bank accounts being frozen in suspicion that they are participating in the parallel market,
Denouncing the action, sports betting companies operating in the country have lodged complaint letters with the NLA. 24 betting companies asked for more time to pay their commission and taxes because their bank accounts were frozen and they couldn’t get money out.
Sports betting, a recently introduced phenomenon sweeping the country’s vast youth population, has come under criticism for a long time, but the National Lottery Administration is still keen on sports betting firms, as these operators continue to boost the its revenues.