The activities of illegal lottery operators, also known as banker- to- banker have caused Ghana to lose several millions of cedis, the Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Brigadier-General Martin Ahiaglo has disclosed.
Describing the lottery industry as being in a state flux, Brigadier-General Ahiaglo pointed out that, the activities of the illegal operators do not only divert state funds but also deny the nation revenue that could have been channeled in to the consolidated fund for infrastructural development.
“The activities of banker-to-banker operators are at a level that have never been witnessed in this country before. The monies that these operators make go into private pockets thus depriving the state of the needed revenue to undertake developmental projects,” he stressed.
According to him, “many sport betting outlets have also sprung up in the last couple of years putting more pressure on punters whose disposable income have not appreciated significantly with the same period”. “As the sole constitutional body mandated by the state to conduct lottery, we need to be creative and innovative in other to stay ahead of these illegal operators,” he cautioned.
He stated that there is the need for a collaboration with the state securities to help reduce the activities of the illegal operators. Brigadier-General Ahiaglo was speaking in Accra during the launch of a new product from the NLA called the Machine Numbers Game.
Touching on the rationale behind the Machine Numbers, he stated that the product is designed to give the general public an opportunity to win prizes on the last set of five numbers to be drawn out of the machine.
“These machine numbers have been used by some lotto forecasters and players to arrive at the first set of five numbers since 1962,” re called. According to him, a research was conducted before rolling out the product to enable it connect with the customer.
“The research we conducted in our key markets before the introduction of this game confirmed that a lot of players have on several occasions had their staked numbers ‘dropped’ as machine numbers,” he said.
He maintained that, the move will come as a relief to many Ghanaians who will now have a “Double Chance” in a single draw for all 5/90 games