Lotto Agents Up In Arms Against NLA

Members of the Ashanti Regional Lotto Marketing Companies and Retailers Association are up in arms against the National Lottery Authority (NLA) over what they say are policies pursued by the latter, which are inimical to the progress of the gaming sector.

Speaking at a well-attended press conference in Kumasi, the secretary of the association, Mr. Joe Kwarteng-Amaniampong, said the management of the gaming sector in the country has not been the best and it is about time that the right measures are adopted.

He expressed worry that the NLA has treated the lotto agents with less respect, especially when the former is taking decisions that eventually affect their work.

Mr. Kwarteng-Amaniampong revealed that an online lotto service provider, Simnet Ghana Limited, was reengaged by the NLA without any recourse to the lotto marketing companies who are principal stakeholders.

He said Simnet Ghana limited had in the past provided services to the NLA and lotto agents, but the company withdrew their services abruptly which has adversely affected their operations. Monies belonging to lotto agents that run into several thousand of cedis were locked up for over three years

“For reasons best known to them, Simnet decided to shut down their services and after a court battle they collected Gh¢ 30 million from the NLA. We received information that a whopping sum of forty million UD dollars was demanded from NLA as a judgment debt” he said.

He added that “out of fear, the NLA decided to re-engage Simnet Ghana limited and to the best of our information, the re-engagement of Simnet should have passed through the Public Procurement Authority before approval”.

The lotto agents are also not happy that the NLA has decided to cut down the operations of the existing online lotto service provider to accommodate Simnet Ghana limited. He said if for anything the playing field should be expanded to accommodate the two online lotto service providers to generate more revenue for the country.

The secretary told media persons who were surrounded by angry lotto agents that lack of vision on the part of the leadership of the NLA is not helping the sector and he called for a paradigm shift in the running of affairs at the authority.

He said recent announcement that the NLA has contributed about ¢33 million to the state coffers does not call for applause. According to him if the right measures are implemented the Ashanti Region alone has the capacity to generate more than that amount to the NLA.

He repeated opinions expressed by the chief advisor to the lotto agents and senior citizen, Nana Dominic Asamoah, that the gaming sector has the potential to raise more money for the nation than the oil and mining sectors.

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