The Concerned Lotto Agents Association of Ghana (CLAAG) is calling on government to as a matter of urgency call National Lottery Authority (NLA) to order over an attack on its lotto writers and agents.
CLAAG is accusing NLA of harassing its members with some taskforce and security operatives from the National Security breaking even into lotto kiosks with the bat of guns, destroying and arresting some lotto agents and writers.
At a news conference in Accra on Thursday, the Executive Secretary of CLAAG, Mr Kwaku Duah Tawiah, said the security operatives covered with masks on their faces were confirmed to have been sent by the NLA after their investigations.
He said the NLA did not serve them any prior notice indicating that, they were going to embark on such exercise when its members were all registered members.
“CLAAG wonders why agents and writers who are downstream workers, be receiving such ill thought-out and callous actions from the NLA with no reason given,” he added.
Mr Tawiah accused the NLA that their actions confirmed to them that the NLA was trying to push them out of business.
“The actions of the NLA is lending credence to rumours making the rounds within the lotto fraternity that NLA has engaged Editeach Company to take over the operations of lottery in Ghana hence doing the bidding of the said company by eliminating us from the industry,” he said.
He said CLAAG had written to the NLA to discuss issues pertaining to the lotto industry and their plights but the NLA had not even acknowledged the letter “for the audience to be granted us.”
Meanwhile the Ghanaian Times in an interview with the Public Relations Manager of NLA, Mr Goodfellow Dei Offei, confirmed that those writers were not registered operators hence the need to clamp them down.
He said the NLA was mandated under the NLA Act 722 and Act 844 to manage and regulate lotteries and its activities in the country.
Mr Offei indicated that, the NLA set out a pre-qualification phase of the licensing regime and the operators were given a one-month window to register with the NLA, in view of their preparedness to operate private lottery.
According to him, only 14 companies registered to operate hence cannot allow any unregistered or unauthorised lotto operators to operate in the country.
“NLA is the only regulatory body which is mandated to authorise anybody to do lotteries and so if you’re an unauthorised agent or not licensed, you’re not eligible to operate.We will continue to regulate the industry, we’re not going to allow some people who think that they have a certain interest to be making noise about our regulation,” Mr Offei stated.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR