A GROUP, the Ghana Lotto Operators Association (GLOA), has expressed dissatisfaction over what it describes as a “clandestine attempt” by officials of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), to ruin its business.
According to the group, the Acting Director General of the NLA, Ernest Mote, and some top management members, had been “acting in concert with some government appointees, to enable another entity to take over all lottery platforms, and monopolise the system.”
The group made the claims at a press conference, held yesterday by the Association’s Lawyer, Ato Kondua, at the Alisa Hotel, in Accra.
The association alleged that KGL, the company they claimed the NLA is ‘scheming’ for, had no track-record of running any lottery operations.
They said that, currently, it has a licence to operate online lotto on behalf of the NLA, and that KGL “is touted as a partner, to restructure the operations of the NLA, whereas KGL is indeed indebted to the NLA.”
“This transition from a licensed operator to a strategic partner, reveals one of the biggest conflicts of interest cases in recent times. How can a licensed, but indebted operator of the NLA, become a financier to bail out the NLA? The real truth about this farce is that, KGL is still indebted to the NLA, in excess of GH¢20 million, for the year 2020,” the group claimed.
The group also alleged that some of its members, notably Alpha Lotto, had come under attacks from the NLA.
“The illegal NLA attacks on Alpha Lotto, are an attempt to prevent competition, and to create a monopoly for KGL, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) designed to capture the lottery sector,” they claimed.
They also accused the NLA of peddling falsehood against Alpha Lotto, which included “not having a licence, not being licensed to operate online lotto, not permitted to operate its own lotto, and not authorised to use a USSD short code; which eventually culminated in the suspension of licence. Applications for review of existing licences, are all subtle schemes to create an exclusive online lotto for KGL.”
Granting of Licences
The group intimated that the granting of private sector lotto licences was duly approved by the Board of NLA which caused newspaper adverts to be made in 2018, inviting private operators.
The board also met operators, to set licence fees at GH¢1 million, and a bank guarantee of GH¢5 million.
The board had two representatives, namely, Osei Ameyaw, former Director General of the NLA and one Mr. Yentumi, a representative of the Ministry of Finance, who fully participated in all the negotiations with operators, from October to December 2019, and finally superintended over the issuing of licences to operators at the public event, as captured by the media.
“So why is NLA saying that licences were issued without a board approval?” they quizzed.
“This deliberate misinformation, exposes bad faith, which has become the stock-in-trade of the compromised Acting Director General, Ernest Mote, and his vile attempt to destroy private lotto companies. GLOA still has the fully signed minutes of the negotiations,” they stated.