The National Lottery Authority (NLA) says the authority is losing an average of GH¢100 million annually to individuals and institutions who engage in illegal lottery.

Such a loss, according to the authority is consequently limiting its annual revenue generation rate to the state. The NLA has thus reaffirmed its commitment to fighting the menace through intermittent raids and court injunctions to enable it rake in more revenues for the state.

The Chief Operating Officer of NLA, Mr George Addo-Yobo, disclosed this to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a press conference organised by the authority “to provide clearity on what a recent court decision on a case of illegal lottery brought against tiGO by the authority does and does not mean. ”

Mr Addo-Yobo said “NLA projections show that the state, through the authority, is losing about GH¢100 million to the activities of institutions and individuals who engage in various kinds of illegal lottery without due course to the NLA. ”

He explained that the law that established the NLA, the National Lotto Act 2006, Act 722, outlawed individuals and institutions from engaging in banker to banker activities, and marketing or consumer promotions that were lottery in nature but disguised as promotions.

That notwithstanding, Mr Addo-Yobo said some institutions and individuals “are still engaging in these activities and that is having a toll on NLA’s finances and our revenue generations to the state in particular. ”

The NLA has since 2011 instituted a series of court cases against some corporate institutions which were engaging in illegal lottery but shrouded in promotions.

In one of such cases, the NLA succeeded in securing an injunction against Milicom Ghana, operators of tiGO, from carrying out its tiGO House Promotion, arguing that the activity was a lottery but disguised as a consumer and marketing promotion.

An Accra based court subsequently declined jurisdiction to determine the illegality or otherwise of the matter but said “the NLA lacks the capacity to bring civil mandatory enforcement proceedings under Act 722 against tiGO. ”

While hinting that the NLA was looking at appealing the said judgment, Mr Kojo Andah, Director-General of the NLA said “the judgement has not changed in anyway the mandate of the NLA as enshrined in the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722). ”

At the moment, Mr Andah said the authority would collaborate with the police and the attorney-general in the arrest and prosecution of individuals and institutions engaging in illegal lottery to the detriment of the authority.

The NLA generated GH¢10. 5 million in 2011 as against the GH¢135million realised in 2010.

It’s chief operating officer attributed the dip in the 2011 revenue of the authority “to the massive investments that we undertook last year as part of efforts to strengthen the operations of the company.

“We procured about 10,000 lottery point of sale terminals for our lotto vendors, deplored a software connectivity that will automates our operations very soon including having to undertake other projects and all these ate into our reserves for the year,” he added.

In 2012, Mr Addo-Yobo said the authority would consider increasing its revenue generations by 15 per cent from the current GH¢10. 5 million through the implementation of modern lotto strategies, fighting revenue leakages through illegal lotto operations and diversifying its activities to include mobile lottering.

Source: Daily Graphic

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