The National Lotteries Authority (NLA), has issued a six-month ultimatum to all Banker-to-Banker lotto operators across the country to legalize their operations or risk prosecution.
According to the Director General of the NLA, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, the six-month ultimatum is to allow all those involved to take steps to formalize their activities with the authority and ensure the benefit of some tax revenue.
Under the National Lotto Act, 2006 and Lottery Regulation 2008, any person or group of individuals that undertake lotto operations without the prior approval of authority acts illegally.
Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Ameyaw called on all operators not complying with the National Lotto Act and regulations “to come in and make the necessary arrangements with us.”
“The doors are open for us to see how they can come in within the law for us to work with them so they can operate legally and make contributions through taxation as they are supposed to bring to the nation.”
“It is about national development. It is about building government. It is not about people making money and putting the money in their pocket whilst others are making it and paying their fair share of taxes and obeying the law,” he said.
Mr. Ameyaw warned that “after the six months, if they don’t comply with the law, then whatever penalty or sanctions the law require, we will take that.”
Earlier in June, eleven lotto courts were inaugurated across the country to facilitate the prosecution of lotto-related offences. The courts include circuit courts one and eight in Accra, circuit courts B in Tema and Koforidua, circuit court 4 in Kumasi, circuit court A in Sunyani, circuit court one in Cape Coast, and circuit courts in Takoradi, Ho, Tamale and Wa.
The lotto-related offences established under the National Lotto Act include offences in relation to a coupon contrary to section 19 of the Act, which criminalizes the manufacturing, distribution, selling, offering or displaying for sale coupons in contravention of Section 18(2) of the Act, and offences in relation to the National Lotto draw and foreign lottery contrary to sections 27 and 29 of the Act.