Information available to Westafrica24.com from Private Lotto Operators, Agents and Writers in the country indicates that manipulations orchestrated by the government to sideline the Veterans Administration Ghana, VAG, a lotto operator and regulator to enable Government, through the National Lottery Authority, NLA, collapse the Private Lotto Operators without provocation is still ongoing.
The group accused the Director General of the National Lottery Authority, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw of deliberate attempts to collapse their operations in the country.
They observed that the criminalization of private lotto operation had resulted in abject poverty to its members who are decent citizens and if nothing is done about the situation it would impact negatively on their livelihood while government will also lose revenue.
They pointed out that the move by President Akufo-Addo’s government to collapse private lotto businesses in the country through the NLA and the VAG would deepen the already existing unemployment situation in the country.
According to them, they do not want their activities driven underground but rather work hand-in-hand with government within a legal framework to contribute their quota to the development of Ghana.
It would be recalled that late President Mills amended Act 722 to allow private participation in lotto and be licensed as well as their operations regulated by the VAG.
However, President Akufo-Addo’s administration still wants the NLA to license and regulate the private lotto operators, although it lost its case in Court to do so. “After the loss, the NLA started manipulating the VAG to stop issuing or renewing of license”, the source alleged.
To this effect, the Agent who spoke to Westafrica24.com on condition of anonymity alleged that the government and the NLA strategically pays Ghc120, 000 instead of the Ghc60, 000 the operators pay yearly to VAG; this according to the source Influenced the’ VAG to stop issuing or renewing licenses of Private Lotto Operators in a bid to frustrate and collapse their jobs.
NLA and VAG continues to threaten to arrest any private lotto operator and writer who will be seen writing what is usually termed ‘Banker to Banker’.
This portal further gathered that the government has been tormenting the private lotto operators since it assumed power in 2017.
Despite facing all these challenges, the operators have however assured government of their their willingness to co-operate to promote private sector revenue generation from the lotto business by working with any government to register their members for their participation.
By: Paul Mamattah