The National Association of Lotto Marketing Companies (ALMC), have pledged to throw their support behind the National Lottery Authority (NLA), to register illegal lotto operators popularly known as ”Banker to Banker” operators.
At a press conference held on Monday 4th September, 2017 at the Art Center, the General Secretary of the Association of Lotto Marketing Companies (ALMC), Mr. Kofi Frimpong, indicated that, the conference was to throw more light on some of the pertinent issues affecting the lotto industry, particularly matters concerning activities of some persons that tend to undermine the administration of the NLA in general, and its efforts at generating revenue for national development in particular.
Saying, as executives of the NALMC’s, “we totally disassociate ourselves with the press statement issued by a group of disgruntled individuals who purport to be members of NALMC’s and retailers, a group which is not known to the NALMC’s which is duly registered.
We want to state in a very clear and unequivocal terms that, the contents of the press statement of the group aforementioned on the 31st day of August, 2017 are baseless, unfounded and above all unwarranted.”
He further noted that, about 60-70% of the lotto business have been taken over by illegal operators who are popularly referred to as ”Banker to Banker” operators in the country, who play their trade outside the legal framework of the National Lotto Act, 2006, Act 722.
According to the Association, ”Banker to Banker” operators have become an albatross on the neck of NLA, adding that attempts by the NLA under the previous administration to register them yielded no positive results.
Therefore, the Association promised to rally behind the initiative to roll out the E-Kiosks and Point of Sales Terminal (POSTs) by the Director General, Mr. Kofi Osei – Ameyaw. Adding that, it is ‘’refreshing to the Association, and stressed, it will create more jobs for the youth in the country.
Mr. Kofi Frimpong also stressed on the infamous decision by a Board of NLA in 2013/2014 and a member of the board to terminate the SIMNET – NLA contract with the view of taking over same, is very fresh in their minds.
The decision of the board he said, led to massive revenue loss to NLA, adding that, the board falsely accused SIMNET for engaging in fraudulent deald and caused the NLA to refuse payment of services, rendered by SIMNET. Eventually, the NLA he said, ended up paying over Gh¢28m to SIMNET by way of services rendering and in compensation for wrongful terminations.
“We are not unaware of the role played by the said Board member in bringing LOTs of services on board after the SIMNET contract was terminated. The same board member was the Chairman of the Entity Tender Committee, Supplies Thermal Paper Roll to the NLA, Supplied LMC Retailer Jackets and other POSTs.”
According to him, this is a conflict of interest, and in the light of the foregoing, they are humbly appealing to the Government to institute a probe into this matter, and also investigate as a matter of urgency, the outrageous winnings that occurred in recent past, which caused the NLA to withhold payment of big winnings for three months.
Also, government should investigate circumstances surrounding the payment of lotto retailer commissions with Bank Overdrafts and interests thereon, investigate the supply of Thermal Paper Rolls by the said board member to NLA, and lastly, urged management to secure its own platform which is independent of the services provided by LOTs and SIMNET.