NLA moves to check illegal private lotto operators

The National Lottery Authority (NLA) has formed a task force to clamp down on illegal private lotto operators, popularly known as ‘banker to banker.”

The task force, comprising the military, police, and the NLA lotto personnel, have been tasked to arrest people operating ‘banker to banker’, throughout the country.

In September this year, the authority announced its intention to clamp down on the activities of illegal private lotto operators.

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.

The authority after one month disqualified 70 companies, particularly because they failed to meet the NLA set criteria.

The NLA set their license fee and asked qualified companies to apply for licensing for 2021/2022 licensing year.

Mr. Goodfellow Dei Ofei, Public Relations Manager of NLA, at a press in Accra, over the weekend, said,  after their day’s operations, “we are determined to purge the lottery industry of illegal operators and operations activities.

The NLA has been very reasonable with the process.  We gave them a fair opportunity to rectify their position with us, but as I usually say, the recalcitrant elements will always rebel and we are prepared to face them squarely.”

Mr. Ofei said, “We have dispatched our men into the regions to arrest and prosecute anyone operating lotto without the requisite license or authorization.“

Asked what happens to the disqualified companies which did not meet the criteria, he said, “the NLA did not just disqualify them without giving them options. We gave them two options. One is to consider registering as a Lotto Marketing Company (LMC) so that they can sell for the NLA, which comes at no cost or to register under one of the registered private operators whose number of writers can still accommodate them and still meet the threshold.”

Mr. Ofei said, “So far the team in Accra has arrested over 35 operators and have seized thousands of Ghana cedis from these operators. Per our arrangement with the police, any money or items we seize during the operations are handed to the police for safekeeping because they will be used as exhibits during prosecution.”

He expressed satisfaction about the operations so far and thanked persons who on a daily basis gave information about illegal operators to the NLA.

Mr. Ofei appealed to the public to assist the NLA to win the fight against illegal lotto operators.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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