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General News of Saturday, 19 February 2022


70% of NLA’s market controlled by illegal operators – Sammi Awuku laments

Sammi Awuku, NLA Director-General Sammi Awuku, NLA Director-General

The Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) Sammi Awuku has justified his constant crusade against illegal lotto operators in the country.

He reveals these illegal operators constitute about 70 percent of the NLA’s market depriving the state of several millions of Ghana cedis compared to its neighbours Loterie Nationale de Cote d’Ivoire (LONACI) who make about $580 million dollars annually.

Speaking on Accra-based Peace Fm monitored by, he observed that their Ivorian counterparts have been able to rake in such a huge amount of revenue because of radical steps they took in reducing the incidents of illegal lotto operators which stood at 80% in 2019 to about 5% a year later.

“In Ghana, about 70% of NLA’s market is in the hands of illegal lotto operators. As if by design, collusion or whatsoever that is what is there”, he shockingly revealed.

According to him, management is facing a herculean task in its bid to sanitize the system commending his predecessor for efforts to engage and regularize the operations of those engaged in the illegality.

This he noted was hampered by the pandemic indicating that upon his assumption he tried to build upon it which is why there has been a massive arrest of these illegal operators who are refusing to regularize their operations with the NLA.

“When I came in, I said we needed to build upon what they have started. The first and foremost thing was to speak to my Ministry and Minister about it and what we can also do. If your next-door neighbor can get about $580 million dollars per annum from lottery, Nigeria also gets something similar.

"In fact the Ivorians were making around $20,000 a day till they were very aggressive in 2019. From 2019 to 2020 they were able to shoot from $20,000 to $1.5 million a day. Nigeria makes $3 million dollars a day from proceeds but here in Ghana we make $80,000 a day”, he revealed