9 companies sued for running unlawful promotions

Vivo Energy2

The Gaming Commission has filed a suit at the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court against the National Lottery Authority (NLA), seven banks and an oil marketing company for operating various unlawful games of chance, popularly referred to as promotions.

The banks are Unibank Ghana Limited, Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, Barclays Bank (Ghana) Limited, Access Bank Ghana Limited, Societe Generale Ghana Limited, UT Bank Limited and the GCB Bank.

The oil marketing company is Vivo Energy Ghana Limited which distributes and markets Shell-branded fuels in the country.

In its statement of claim, the commission said the NLA was not the appropriate body to grant licence or permit to the other defendants to run promotions.

It said by their design, the promotions were games of chance and as such ought to have been licensed by the commission.

According to the statement, the NLA was the authority established by the National Lotto Act, 2006 (Act 722) to regulate, supervise, conduct and manage National Lotto in Ghana.

“Any purported licence granted the banks by the NLA to operate the games of chance, the subject matter of this suit, are unlawful,” it stated.

Banks’ promotions

It said the various promotions dubbed “Dash for 200k Promo”, “Big Fat Zero Promo”, “Win Easy, Win Big Promo”, “Big Deal Promo”, “The Power of GH¢250 Reloaded”, “100 for 100,000 promotion, “GCB 30 to Brazil Promo”, and “Shell Akyede Kese Promotion,” run by the seven banks and the oil marketing company, were all for the purposes of games of chance.

It stated that the commission was the sole statutory institution mandated by the Gaming Act, 2006 (Act 721) to license and regulate the operation of games of chance in Ghana.

Engagement with defendants

The statement said the commission, having become aware of the promotions, engaged with the other defendants who alleged that they had been licensed or permitted by the NLA to run their promotions.

According to the statement, the commission was compelled to make a publication of an advertiser’s announcement in the Daily Graphic in May, 2014 to warn the defendants to desist from operating the unlawful games of chance but to no avail.

It said the commission sent a letter dated May 30, 2014 to the NLA, pointing out its unlawful conduct but the NLA would not desist from such conduct.

It said the NLA, in a letter, sought to defend its unlawful conduct of granting or purporting to grant licence or permission for the operation of the unlawful games of chance.

“The plaintiff maintains that the NLA has made up to 20 per cent of the income generated by each of the unlawful games of chance operated by the seven banks and the oil company.

“The defendants have evinced a clear intention of not desisting from their unlawful conduct and accounting to the commission unless on orders of the court,” the statement said.

source : Graphic Online