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18.10.2008 Business & Finance

Illegal Lotto Operators Given Final Warning

The National Lotto Authority (NLA) has issued a final warning to illegal lotto operators who use unauthorised materials to sell the authority's numbers to the public to stop or face the full rigours of the law.

The authority had also reiterated its earlier call to those individuals or groups, as well as any other business entity interested in the lotto business to register and work with the authority.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Director of Operations of the NLA, Mr George Addo-Yobo, expressed regret that in spite of a court's decision to outlaw activities of private lotto operators in the country, some individuals and groups either continued to draw their own numbers or use plain sheets of paper and other unauthorised materials to sell lotto in the name of the NLA.

To stop the practice, Mr Addo-Yobo said a combined team of police personnel and some staff of the NLA would soon visit lotto kiosks throughout the country to arrest offenders for subsequent prosecution.

The operations of what is usually referred to as banker-to-banker became illegal in Ghana after the Accra Fast-track High Court on August 20, 2008 dismissed an action instituted against the NLA by the Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA).

The lotto operators had sought to question the constitutionality of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) Act 2006, Act 722.

In dismissing the case, the court also ordered the GLOA and six others to surrender their lotto drawing equipment to the NLA.

It also awarded a total cost of GH¢14,000 against the plaintiffs. Each of the plaintiffs was expected to pay GH¢2,000.

The plaintiffs were Obiri Asare and Sons Limited, Rambel Enterprise Limited, Dan Multipurpose Trading Enterprise Limited, Agrop Association Limited, Star Lotto Limited and From-Home Enterprises.

Mr Addo-Yobo observed that the fact that the members of the Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) had appealed against the court ruling did not allow them to operate, adding that “what they are doing is illegal”.

To get the message across, the NLA published a public announcement in the national dailies advising the general public to desist from dealing with such operators and asked stakers of the authority who would be served with coupons other than the legitimate coupons of the authority to report to the management on phone numbers 020-5317111, 024-0939397, 027-1578872, 028-5281102 or 021-671648.