Kofi Osei Ameyaw, DG of NLA and officials of GLOA
THE NATIONAL Lottery Authority (NLA) and the Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) recently signed an agreement to promote the business of lottery, by creating more employment for Ghanaians and increasing revenue to the state.
This was after two months of a series of meetings by representatives of each of the parties.
The two parties have agreed to restore the PSOs who previously held licences issued by the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG) under new terms and conditions with effect from January 1, 2020.
A joint press release by the parties said, “Under the terms of this contract, licensed PSOs will migrate from paper-writing to an I.T. platform for effective monitoring, regulation, and more revenue mobilization to the state.”
Also, “The NLA, in place of its advertised Banker-to-Banker Lotto operation under Act 722, for which fees were paid, has offered qualified PSO the opportunity to participate in the 5/90 Fixed Odds Game, under the full regulation and supervision of the NLA, in accordance with Section 2(4), to ensure increased private sector lotto revenue to the state.”
By the recent agreement, they have resolved to “execute two (2) separate contracts covering the qualified PSOs operation of the VAG Lotto under Act 844, and qualified PSO participation in NLA 5/90 Fixed Odds Game in accordance with Section 2(4) of Act 722.”
The parties have also planned a nationwide sensitization campaign in January 2020 to educate the lotto public, the general public and all citizens on the Lotto Laws of Ghana, duties and responsibilities in modern lotto operations; and targeted training for sales agents and writers. This sensitization will also help explain NPP government efforts in resolving this 30-year impasse on Private Sector Participation in Lotto, which has created upheavals for all governments since 1992.
“To ensure smooth implementation of the roadmap towards the successful adherence to the signed contracts, the Joint Technical Committee has put in place Joint Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, to forestall unilateral breaches, unfavourable media publicity or adverse actions that may create with national security concerns. NLA shall provide a detailed compliance manual to guide the effective regulation of Private Sector participation in Lotto.”
The two organisations have since extended gratitude to government and the Police CID for assisting to bring ground-breaking reforms to the lottery sector for greater employment generation, ensuring that the employment rights of ordinary Ghanaian citizens are upheld at all times, and making it possible for private sector participation in lotto to contribute significantly to national development.
In July 2018, VAG entered into a Collaboration Agreement with NLA to operate VAG Lotto. The PSOs were of the view that execution of this Collaboration Agreement constituted an infringement on their Agreement with VAG.
In February 2018, the Board of NLA caused an advert to be placed in some newspapers, including the two national daily newspapers, inviting Private Sector Lotto Operators to apply to operate an NLA approved Banker-to-Banker Lotto under Act 722. Several PSOs responded to the advert, paid the prescribed licensing fees and some submitted the required Security Guarantees.
After a year of not receiving their licensing certificates from NLA, this state of affairs incensed PSOs to organise a press conference in Accra. This press conference was seen as a national security threat according to the National Security Apparatus, Police CID and the government at large. After an invitation to the Bureau of National Investigations to give their statement, the PSOs and NLA were subsequently invited to mediation at the Police CID Headquarters in Accra in October 2019, to resolve the impasse.
The National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722) was enacted for the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to operate and to regulate all Lottery in Ghana. Section 2(4) of Act 722 gives NLA the mandate to collaborate with other parties to operate lotto or lottery in Ghana.
GLOA is the umbrella organization championing the rights of Private Sector Lotto Operators (PSOs) in Ghana.