The National Lottery Authority (NLA) Tuesday held a stakeholders forum with private illegal Banker-to-Banker Lotto Operators and took them through the consensus reached to regularise their operations.
The NLA on July 25, 2017 held an earlier forum with the illegal operators, Lotto Marketing Companies and lotto writers on plans to licensed Banker to Banker operators.
The consensus reached at the forum was that the NLA will license Private Lotto Operators to operate Banker-to-Banker in approved jurisdictional areas, determined a license fee by the NLA Board in accordance with relevant provisions of Act 722 and LI 1948 and approved unique and specific NLA licensed Banker-to-Banker tickets or coupons for each operator in a particular region.
It was also decided that the NLA licensed Banker-to-Banker Ticket or coupons shall be printed by the operator and identifiable to the operators.
In this direction, operators in a particular region shall not transact business in another region without approval from NLA.
Also, Lotto agents and writers of an NLA licensed Baker-to-Banker shall be given Identification Cards and operators shall be self policing in conjunction with NLA to smoke out recalcitrant operators.
The Authority gave an amnesty to illegal operators till December 31, 2017, to register with the NLA and regularise their activities or faced prosecution if caught operating illegally.
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, the Director General of the NLA, however, stated that the recalcitrant’s who sell banker-to-Banker without approved ID Cards from the NLA would be prosecuted and would be dealt with by the Lotto Courts established by the Former Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood.
He said application forms were available at all the regional offices of the NLA and the Head Office and that over 200 Banker-to-Banker operators had so far registered under the new terms.
Mr Osei-Ameyaw said: “this forum is to discuss modalities to determine the kind of license that will be given to you to work as approved Banker-to-Banker operators under the law”.
He said this is to open up the system for the banker-to-banker operators earn enough to pay for their licensing fees and also help the Authority to generate more revenue for development.
Mr Osei-Ameyaw said the NLA was in the process of introducing about 30,000 new modernised and innovative kiosks nationwide, by November this year, to add value to the lotto business.
This, he said, would be done in partnership with banks to carry out banking activities on the point-of-sale.
Mr Osei-Ameyaw said the country was earning huge sums of money from the operation of lotto and that the need to regularise the operations was critical to the nation’s development agenda.
Mr George Addo-Yobo, Director of Special Assignments at the NLA, took the participants through the criteria of registration and on how to complete the application form.
Mr Dan Borsor, Chairman of the Ghana Lotto Operators Association, urged the NLA to clarify the Act 844 of 2012 and Act 722 of 2006, both Acts of Parliament that mandated the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG) to give license to lotto operators and the NLA to do same.
He said some of them had the VAG license which was valid until December 2018 as the NLA amnesty for operators ends in 2017.
Mr Stephen Sabah Arko from Today-Today Lotto Company also raised concerns about the acquisition of bank guarantee stated in the application, saying that the NLA should reduce the amount as most of the writers employed were pensioners and the lower the guarantee, the higher they could create employment.
He also appealed to the NLA to consider extending the time set for the Lotto as many of the operators were affected by the time the draw was held.
Mr Okyere also a Private Lotto Operator, told the GNA that he was glad about strategies being put in place by the NLA to enable operators to receive some leverage under the PPP and not be considered as illegal operators any longer.