Director General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Mr. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw says the authority will not witch-hunt Banker-to-Banker and private lotto operators with the lotto courts that have been established across the country.
The courts, Mr. Osei-Ameyaw said, will be used to regulate activities of the lottery industry and to facilitate prosecution of recalcitrant or illegal operators. Earlier, eleven lotto courts were inaugurated across the country. The courts are, circuit courts one and eight in Accra, circuit courts B in Tema and Koforidua, circuit court one in Cape Coast, circuit court 4 in Kumasi, circuit court A in Sunyani, and circuit courts in Takoradi, Ho, Tamale and Wa.
According to the National Lotto Act, 2006 and Lottery Regulation 2008, it is unlawful for any person or group of individuals operate without the prior approval of authority. It has, however come to the notice of the NLA that some individuals were going contrary to the laws and are evading taxes despite the authority’s call to bring all in the industry under one umbrella where the right things are done.
In an interview with www.ghanaweb.com Mr. Osei-Ameyaw said the activities of these illegal operators are robbing the state of taxes and revenues needed for national development. He lamented, ”Those that are lawful and are paying the taxes feel that they are being cheated by those who are not paying their taxes and are doing the business underground or clandestinely. This takes away the revenues that could be used to build schools, pay for school feeding, and fees for our children.”
He has, therefore, issued a six-month ultimatum to all those operating outside the law to go through the necessary procedures in order to formalize their operations or risk prosecution. “I am calling everyone engaged in the lotteries business to come forward and obtain their license so that they can pay their due share of taxes and revenue to government so that we can use the money to develop the country,” he advised.