The National lottery Authority (NLA) since the beginning of the month started the clamping down of illegal private lotto operators popularly called Banker to Banker by the Lotto Taskforce with support from the security agencies.
In September this year, the Authority announced its intention to clamp down on the activities of illegal private lotto operators.
They set out a pre-qualification phase of the licensing regime where the operators were given a one month window to register with the NLA in view of their preparedness to operate private lottery.
The authority after the one month window disqualified 70 companies particularly because those entities failed to meet the NLA set criteria.
The Authority then set their license fee and asked the qualified companies to proceed with the licensing process to be issued a license for the 2021/2022 licensing year.
Mr. Goodfellow Dei Ofei, Public Relations Manager addressing the press at the Ministry Police station on Saturday after the day’s operations said “As I indicated earlier, we are determined to purge the lottery industry of illegal operators and operations activities. The NLA has been very reasonable with the process, we gave them a fair opportunity to rectify their position with us but as I usually say the recalcitrant elements will always rebel and we are more than more than prepared to face them squarely.
We have sent our men into the regions to arrest and prosecute anyone operating illegally without the requisite license or authorization. “
Asked what happens to the disqualified companies who did not meet the criteria Mr Ofei said “The NLA did not just disqualify them without giving them options. We gave them two (2) options, one is to consider registering as a Lotto Marketing Company (LMC) so they can sell for the NLA which comes at no cost or to register under one of the registered private operators whose number of writers can still accommodate them and still meet the threshold.
“So far the team in Accra have arrested over 35 operators and have seized thousands of Ghana cedis from these operators. Per our arrangement with the Police, any money or items we seize during the operations are handed to the Police for safe keeping because they will be used as exhibits during prosecution Mr. Ofei added.
The Public Relations Manager expressed satisfaction about the operations so far and thanked the persons who on a daily basis call the office to relay information about illegal operators. He called on the General public to assist the NLA to win this fight.