Pool promoters in Imo State are furious with Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha over double taxation imposed on them.
The pool promoters expressed their displeasure with the Governor during a closed door meeting with the Chairman House Committee on Pools,Betting and Gaming,Hon.Ifeanyi Israel Nnataraonye,who also represents Mbaitoli State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly.
The leader of the group who is also the Chairman, Pools and Betting Promotions,Imo State Chapter,Chief Joseph Onwukaeme bitterly lamented over double taxation and high rate of licences against the normal rate by the government of the State.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting,Chief Onwukaeme, condemned the high level of odds in the pool sector in the State.
He said “In other states the Pool industry are staking at 60-1 and 100-1,while in Imo State, we are staking at high rate of 150-1, and 200-1′
He said such high rates truncates the winning chances of the stakers.
Chief Onwukaeme frowned at the high taxation and double licensing against the wishes of the promoters.
The Imo Pools promoters Chairman described the rate of double taxation from the office of the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR,in Imo State as outrageous.
He therefore appealed to the authorities in charge of Imo IGR and other tax offices to reduce the rates which he described as an excessive taxation against the general wish of the promoters.
Some of the Promoters who spoke in the same vein with the Chairman are: Chief Anthony Anyanwu of Derby Pools Owerri, Chief Ikechukwu Ezejiof Zejis Pools Owerri, and
Hon.Nze Joe Agoh, the immediate past TC Chairman of Owerri Municipal,who is the owner of Fonex Pools Owerri.
They collectively accused some greedy promoters in the industry in the state of high odds.
Nze Joe Agoh revealed that the weekly taxation of #10,000-#20,000 by the State Government is unlawful and against the wishes of the promoters, even as he stated that in other South East States winning is very high.
He also alleged that some infiltrators are destroying the industry, that pools betting has reduced unemployment and must be encouraged to strive positively in the society.
The Pool Promoters however alleged that one Abatex Pools is one of the major problems facing the Pools Industry in Imo State.
The promoters also accused the Ministry of IGR of double and multiple taxation and high rate of licensing.
Speaking on the issues raised by the Pool promoters, Hon.Nnataraonye, encouraged them to move on in promoting the industry but stated that the government under his watch shall look into the matter to proffer solutions which would be of the general interest of the public, especially the stakers and the promoters.
Hon.Nnataraonye described the Pool industry as one of the fastest growing in the world, but appealed to them to always partner with the State Government.
The Mbaitoli State Lawmaker described pool betting as one of the most lucrative industry in the state, assuring the promoters of reduction on the high taxation.