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‘Over 200 banker-to-banker operators registered with NLA’

BY: Daily Graphic
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw — Director General of NLA
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw — Director General of NLA

The Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, has stated that more than 200 banker-to-banker operators have so far been registered under the new public-private partnership (PPP) terms.    

He said the number of illegal lotto operators registered so far was encouraging and urged other operators who had not yet registered to do so to avoid prosecution.

Mr Osei-Ameyaw revealed this at a stakeholders’ forum held in Accra with private illegal banker-to-banker lotto operators to take them through the programme to regularise their operations.

“This forum is to discuss modalities to determine the kind of licence that will be given to you to work as approved banker-to-banker operators under the law,” he explained.  

The authority gave an amnesty to all illegal lotto operators till December 31, 2017 to register with the NLA and regularise their activities or face prosecution if caught operating illegally.  

Forum on lotto

The NLA, on July 25, 2017, held an earlier forum with the illegal operators, lotto marketing companies and lotto writers on plans to license banker-to-banker operators.

The consensus reached at the forum was that the NLA would license private lotto operators to operate banker-to-banker in approved jurisdictional areas, determine a licence fee through the NLA Board, in accordance with relevant provisions of Act 722 and LI 1948 and approve unique and specific NLA licensed banker-to-banker tickets or coupons for each operator in a particular region.

It was also decided that the NLA licensed banker-to-banker ticket or coupons shall be printed by the operators and identifiable to the operators.

In that direction, operators in a particular region shall not transact business in another region without approval from the NLA.

Also, lotto agents and writers of NLA licensed banker-to-banker operators shall be given identification cards and operators shall be self-policing, in conjunction with the NLA, to smoke out recalcitrant operators.

Mr Osei-Ameyaw said application forms were available at all the regional offices of the NLA and the head office in Accra.

According to him, the plan was to open up the system for the banker-to-banker operators to earn enough to pay for their licensing fees and also help the authority generate more revenue for development.

Prosecution

He, however, stated that those who would sell banker-to-banker coupons without approved ID cards from the NLA would be prosecuted and dealt with by the Lotto Courts established by the Judicial Service.

He said the NLA was in the process of introducing about 30,000 modernised and innovative kiosks nationwide by November this year to add value to the lotto business.

That, he said, would be done in partnership with the banks to carry out banking activities from those business points.  

Mr Osei-Ameyaw said the country was earning huge sums of money from the operation of lotto and that there was the need to regularise the operations to enhance the nation’s development agenda.

Mr George Addo-Yobo, the Director of Special Assignments at the NLA, took the participants through the criteria for registration and how to complete the application form.

Lotto sports

The Chairman of the Ghana Lotto Operators Association,  Mr Dan Borsor, urged the NLA to clarify Act 844 of 2012 and Act 722 of 2006, as both legislation mandated the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG) to give licences to lotto operators.

He said some of them had the VAG licences which were valid until December 2018, while the NLA amnesty for operators ended in 2017.

Mr Stephen Sabah Arko of Today-Today Lotto Company also raised concerns over the acquisition of bank guarantees on the application forms, saying that the NLA should reduce the amount, as most of the writers were pensioners, saying the lower the guarantee, the higher the opportunities to create more employment.

He also appealed to the NLA to consider extending the time for the draw, as many of them were affected by the time the draw was held.

A private lotto operator who gave his name as Mr Okyere told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that he was glad about the strategies in place to enable operators to receive more income under the PPP and not to be considered illegal operators any longer.