22.06.2006 Business & Finance

Body To Regulate Lotteries

By Times
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THE government is to establish an autonomous institution to regulate the operations of both private and public lotteries.

The aim is to ensure transparency and efficiency in the operation of lotteries, as well as to enable lottery operators fulfill their tax obligations promptly.

A lottery Bill to this effect has been placed before Parliament, Kojo Andah, Director of the Department of National Lotteries (DNL), disclosed at an educational forum organized by the DNL for Lotto operators, agents, receivers and writers at Takoradi on Tuesday.

He explained that the Bill was not intended to eliminate private lottery but to bring sanity in the lottery business, saying that throughout the world, lotteries are operated by government for development.

The Bill is therefore to ensure that lottery operators live up to their civic responsibilities and bring them under one umbrella as currently, only a few of the private lottery operators pay tax on their earnings.

He said if the Bill is passed by Parliament, all private lottery operators would be registered and authorized by the new regulatory body creating more job opportunities for the youth.

Mr. Andah said the Bill has made provision for a transitional period to ensure that private lottery operators did not lose revenue.

He hinted that in preparation for the new law, DNL is modernizing its own operation by introducing an automator system in Accra to facilitate early payment of winnings of lotto stakers.

Chalrles Mensah, Deputy Director of DNL in charge of Finance and Administration, said to provide security for lotto winners, payment of all winnings will be by cheque.

“The cheque system would also ensure that lotto agents did not divert the winnings of stakers into their private businesses,”

Mr Mensah said DNL paid as much as 100 billion cedis as commission to lotto sellers last year.

He advised lotto sellers to refrain from selling “banker-to-banker” tickets, and warned that recalcitrant sellers would be arrested and prosecuted.

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