Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
The Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA) is intensifying its campaign to lobby the government to amend the Act that has given the National Lottery Authority (NLA) monopoly in the gaming industry.
The promulgation of the National Lotto Act, Act 772 (2006), created a monopoly for lottery in Ghana and GLOA is arguing that the move is defeating the NPP Government agenda to place the private sector at the centre stage of the development agenda which will ultimately lead to the expansion of the economy.
Private lotto business known in local parlance as Banker to Banker was curtailed after the promulgation of Act 722 but GLOA is arguing that the move has since rendered many people jobless and said the government needed to reinstate them by urging Parliament to change the law.
At a heavily-attended news conference in Accra yesterday on the recent discussions between GLOA and the NLA regarding the creation of a Public Private Partnership in lottery, Seth Asante Amoani, GLOA's Secretary said they were sending a proposal to the government for consideration on the way forward for the country.
He said allowing private operators back into the lottery sector might help to solve the ongoing galamsey situation since many people involved in illegal mining could return to the kiosks and work to earn a living.
“GLOA declares its unflinching support towards the implementation NPP’s promises to the ordinary people of Ghana, and its proposed public-private partnership in lotto,” he said.
He said GLOA is proposing a dialogue between them and the NLA, Ministry of Finance and all stakeholders to make private sector participation in lotto a reality under a public-private partnership arrangement with commitments for all parties.
He said they are also calling for the constitution of a legal review committee “to explore modalities for the amendment of National Lotto Act, Act 722 (2006), with particular reference to section 2 (4).”
GLOA is also calling for “a separation of the regulatory function of NLA from its commercial/operational functions, and to ensure that NLA does not regulate and compete at the same time, with other private sector operators.”
According to them, the appointment of “a truly independent regulator for lottery in Ghana, and the restructuring of NLA’s lotto commercial operations under a different arrangement, for a transparent and impartial regulation with private sector operators,” will help to bring economic development.
They said they are not against any periodic monitoring of operators to ensure full compliance with the regulations, and ensure that all the districts are covered for uniform and accelerated economic growth.
They said there should be a creation of modalities for the establishment of the Lotto Commission, the issuance of licenses to private operators nationwide, and the payment of appropriate registration fees, monthly GRA taxes, VAT, P.A.Y.E., SSNIT and other charges to government adding “there should be regulation and control of fiscal activities of all operators, to ensure that taxes are fully paid and at periodic intervals to the state.”
GLOA said if that was done, the government should be able to grant private sector operatives a 5-year moratorium to recapitalize their operations by investing in equipment for independent draws on their own machines, or the payment of fees for use of drawn numbers in the interim as well as monitor and evaluate the actual employment creation data submitted by operators from time to time.
They also called for modalities for the legalization of District Lotto, as part of efforts to build the needed revenues for the district industrialization programme of the NPP Government, adding “there should be modalities for registering the agents of private lotto operators to ensure a take-off of district economic re-generation,” as well as “create a national database to register all operators and their sub-agents to facilitate tax collection.”
“The private sector has proved itself a viable partner in national revenue mobilization activities under several governments until Act 722 was promulgated in 2006, creating a lottery monopoly in Ghana. PNDC Law 223 (1989) deregulated lottery in Ghana, occasioning massive improvement in the revenue and development activities of district Assemblies.”
Dr Ato Conduah an lawyer who is consulting for GLOA said “our proposal is a panacea for the lottery industry. We want to lawfully earn a living so they should give us another chance.”