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Business News of Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Over 200 illegal lotto operators acquire NLA license

Efforts by the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to regulate the lottery business in Ghana has yielded fruits as about two hundred illegal lotto operators in Accra have acquired licenses from the Authority to formalise their operations.

Director General of the NLA, Mr. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw disclosed this in an interview after a stakeholder meeting with private lotto operators at the NLA Head office in Accra, Tuesday.

“We have about 200 that have registered. We’re expecting that number to go up to about 500 judging from what is happening. We’re waiting for the regional applications to come in. Once the regional applications come in, we’ll be able to assess how many licenses we shall give,” Mr. Osei-Ameyaw revealed.

In his bid to regulate the lottery industry and generate revenue to support national development, Mr. Osei-Ameyaw, since his appointment as the Director General, has been working effortlessly to bring all lotto operators under one umbrella.

There have been several engagements with private lotto, banker-to-banker operators, writers and other lotto agents to persuade those of them who are operating outside the lotteries law to register with the authority in order to contribute their quota and make revenue mobilisation easy.

The NLA, Mr. Osei-Ameyaw reiterated, is mandated under the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722) to regulate, supervise, conduct and manage National Lotto, hence the persistent call for illegal operators to acquire a license before operating.

He said most of the operators are cooperating with the authority and have applied to be licensed.

“The collaboration has been quite successful. They’re all ready to come on board so that they pay their fair share of revenue mobilization for u to be able to utilize that in the development of our nation,” he noted.

He, however, urged the recalcitrant agents to comply with the authority’s directive, pick up application forms at the regional offices or download forms from NLA’s official website and acquire a license by December 2017.

“If you are operating illegally, we're giving you amnesty until December this year else you have yourself to blame,” he cautioned.



Meanwhile, to ensure criminals are not “recruited” into the lottery business, Mr. Ameyaw said, the NLA will conduct background checks on applicants before approving their licenses.

“We have to do our criminal checks so that those who have engaged in criminal activities, those who have been convicted by the court of competent jurisdiction and if you’re not suitable, to be licensed then we won’t license you,” he said.

He added, “We are looking at a business that is credible so people who are not engaging in criminal activities will be the ones who are going to be licensed.”