Mrs Maame Kesewa Dolphin, Corporate Communications Manager of NLA presenting the dummy cheque to the Trustee of the Foundation, Madam Cynthia Mawusi Boadi.
Mrs Maame Kesewa Dolphin, Corporate Communications Manager of NLA presenting the dummy cheque to the Trustee of the Foundation, Madam Cynthia Mawusi Boadi.

The growing cost of living both locally and internationally, has now become a disturbing situation as everyone needs extra cash to depend on.

Mrs Maame Kesewa Dolphin, Corporate Communications Manager of NLA presenting the dummy cheque to the Trustee of the Foundation, Madam Cynthia Mawusi Boadi.

In recent times, most people invest in Treasury Bills, Properties, Bank savings and even Play Lottery in order to make some extra income in living.

The focus of this Article is aimed at discussing Lottery as a way of making extra cash.

The Oxford Dictionary defines lottery “as a means of raising money by selling numbered tickets and giving prizes to the holders of numbers drawn at random”.

In Ghana, lottery is patronised by people from all walks of life in spite of the stigmatisation the game may have suffered, primarily as a result of religious beliefs.

However, with the modernisation of Games and Brands, acceptance and patronage over the years has increased to a level where some unscrupulous persons have now started operating lotto illegally.

Evolution of Lottery in Ghana

The history of lottery in Ghana could be traced to 1958, when the then Department of National Lotteries (DNL) was established under the National Weekly Lotto Act, 1961 (ACT 94) as a Department under the Ministry of Finance.

This Law was later amended by the National Weekly Lotto (Amendment Law), 1989 (PNDCL 223) and Section 15 of the Ghana Legion Decree, 1974 (NRCD 285).

The PNDC Law 223 also allowed the participation of private persons in Lottery operations under the District Assemblies.

These Private Lotto operators had to obtain operating licenses from the District Assemblies and apply part of their profits to support activities of the District Administrations within which they operated.

The idea was to help the Assemblies generate revenue through license fees and taxes to government.

This objective was however not achieved as the private lotto operators failed to honour their obligations, resulting in loss of revenue to the state over the period.

This development necessitated the formation of a one body to operate and regulate Lottery in conformity with international best practices, where Gaming or Lottery Regulations are preserved by the State.

The passage of the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722) granted autonomy to the DNL and became known as the National Lottery Authority (NLA), with a sole mandate to regulate, supervise, conduct and manage National Lotto and to provide for other related matters.

Section 2(4) of Act 722 also empowers the NLA to operate Games of Chances in addition to Lottery.

A governing regulation, the Lottery Regulations, 2008 (L.I. 1948), was also passed to regulate NLA’s Operations (then DNL), which commenced operations with its flagship game, the 5/90 Fixed Odds in 1962 with its first draw.

More than 50 years now, the NLA still operates the 5/90 Fixed Odds which currently have six branded products namely, Monday Special, Lucky Tuesday, Midweek, Fortune Thursday, Friday Bonanza and National Weekly Lotto, which is the primary product and flagship brand played on Saturdays.

In February 2015, NLA also introduced SoccerCash, a dividend game, onto the lottery market.

This game was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to promote sports development.

The NLA also created the Caritas Lottery Platform to grant the opportunity to third party Commercial and Financial entities to collaborate with the Authority in promoting their businesses through lottery games.

The NLA since its inception was operating a fully manual system, until 2006, when it started the automation of its operations with the introduction of the Point of Sale Terminals (POSTs) or Automated Machines, which generate real time lottery tickets upon purchase.

In 2011, the NLA fully automated its entire operations and, in the process, distributed 10,000 POSTs to its Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs) and Retailers to dispense lotto tickets.

In August 2015, the Authority procured 7,400 additional POSTs in a bid to revitalise its operations, drive efficiencies and to increase market coverage.

As part of efforts aimed at boosting efficiency and to also expand NLA’s scope of coverage, the Authority contracted two Technical Service Providers, SIMNET Ghana Limited and Lots Services Ghana Limited to provide backend systems support.

What Constitutes Illegal Lottery?

The move by the NLA to a fully automated system means, anyone still operating the manual system (writing out numbers on sheets of papers) is operating illegal lottery, popularly referred to as Banker to Banker.

Players or stakers of the Banker to Banker are mostly deceived by these illegal lottery operators into believing that both the Banker to Banker and the NLA Games are same, “this assertion is not true”.

NLA’s games are dispensed by their licensed Retailers or LMCs from NLA branded POSTs and could usually be identified in their NLA branded kiosks, containers, umbrellas or highlighters with an NLA logo on their point of sales.

Ultimately one thing that distinguishes the NLA tickets from that of the Banker to Banker operation is Ghana’s Coat of Arms and NLA’s logo embossed on the electronic ticket printout with the National Lottery Authority inscription all over it.

Why You Should Choose NLA over Banker to Banker

NLA games guarantees players security of prompt payments, no matter how big the win is, while, Banker to Banker operators always escape whenever there are big wins or at best opt to pay paltry sums in such big wins.

Another technique employed by Banker to Banker operators is to entice ignorant players with electronic gadgets like phones, tablets and power banks, which they offer to them as a token and negotiate with them in a bid to delay payment.

Once accepted, the gift is used as a crack, preventing the winner from making complaints when the payment is not coming as expected which then leads to

Also on days of heavy stakes, Banker to Banker operators insure themselves by playing NLA Games due to the well-known and accepted fact that NLA pays promptly no matter the win amount.

This act by the Banker to Banker operators defeats the falsehood peddle that the NLA manipulates wins by taking out heavily staked numbers on any particular day.

If the Banker to Banker operator play’s NLA’s games whenever there are heavy stakes, he or she is aware of prompt payment, no matter the size of the win.

Yet the same Banker to Banker operator would still not pay a winning ticket played on that platform and even if payment is effected it would not be as promptly as that of the NLA.

So the question is: Is one not better off playing with NLA? The answer is a definite YES. So why not join the winning team now?

NLA Draws are credible and transparent and are always held in the presence of the public with both external and internal auditors present to ensure the integrity of the draws.

Stringent measures are put in place to ensure an impenetrable process, therefore renders the Rumours peddled against NLA manipulation by Banker to Banker operators false.

A player from Asankragua was recently paid an amount of GH₵ 342,000 won promptly from playing the NLA game without any fears.

All genuine winners of NLA games have always received prompt and full payment, which attests to NLA’s credibility in payment of wins.

With NLA, players still benefit as individuals or members of a community, even if you do not win.

This is because the NLA contributes to the Consolidated Fund for National Development.

As a principal contributor, the NLA has made substantial contributions to the Consolidated Fund over the years and in 2015 paid GH₵ 33, 270.00 to the Fund; thus exceeding its target set for the year.

The A uthority also implements a vibrant Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, that has invested massively in education, health, culture, Persons with disability and vulnerable groups.

“In the case of Banker to Banker operators, all monies paid goes into their private pockets who do not even pay taxes to government.”

Offences under the Lotto ACT 722

Anyone caught operating illegal lottery is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two thousand and five hundred penalty units or imprisonment for a term of not more than three years or both.

Persons caught patronising Banker to Banker products are equally liable and could be prosecuted. The law also allows the state to confiscate every object or article used in committing, facilitating the commission or which in any respect relates to the commission of the offence.

The NLA, with the assistance of the Ghana Police Service would continue to pursue and arrest illegal lottery operators across the country while the laws would be rigidly enforced to curb these illegal activities.

All those engaged in the illegal lotto businesses are encouraged to read Act 722 and regularise their businesses through arrangements with the NLA.

A GNA Feature by Amadu K. Sanah

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