NLA: Alpha Lotto not among our legal digital lottery operators

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The National Lottery Authority (NLA) has said that management of Alpha Lotto Limited has no legal right to operate its own lottery games as well as market independent lottery products using digital devices. They can only do so with authorisation from the Authority.

It noted that Alpha Lotto Limited was only licensed to operate lotto under the Veterans Administration, Ghana Act, 2012 (Act 844), regulated by Act 722.

NLA has therefore cautioned the company to operate within the terms and conditions of its licence issued under Act 844 and “stop hiding behind its licence under Act 844 to operate illegal services as well as misinforming the general public.”

The latest warning is in reaction to a rejoinder issued by the private lotto operating company in respect of an earlier warning to stop the use of the *896#  digital short code and cease its  live draw on GTV.

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Alpha Lotto case

Responding to claims that its operations are illegal and non-compliant with the regulator, Alpha Lotto Limited had claimed that it is “licensed by the NLA to operate VAG 5/90 Fixed Odd Games and does not operate the short code 595 intended for NLA’s 5/90 games.”

The rejoinder further stated: “Alpha Lotto Limited does not operate NLA’s 5/90 games under Act 722 (2006).”

“Alpha Lotto Limited, per its licence, operates its own games under Act 844 (2012), on its independent platform and marketed through short code *896#. Alpha Lotto Limited’s operation is fully compliant with NLA’s registration and licensing conditions under NLA License Certificate QR Code – NLA_ALL_1_20 (signed by NLA Director – General, dated 1st July 2020), under VAG ACT, Act 844 (2012),” it added.

The rejoinder further indicated that under the terms of registration and licensing of private sector operators for VAG Lottery operations, licensed operators are required to market their lottery products using digital devices (End-to-End),  “as NLA has banned the physical, writing of lottery from a booklets or paper, in order for NLA to electronically monitor VAG lottery licensees’ operations.”

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NLA stance  

But the NLA in response maintained that management of Alpha Lotto Limited has no approval from the regulator to operate its own games.

“There are processes, procedures, criteria and requirements an operator must fulfill before it can operate its own games under strict compliance to the rules and regulations of the NLA,” it said.

NLA explained that every licensed operator under Act 844 is mandated to integrate its platform into the Authority’s platform for monitoring and supervision of their activities as part of the terms and conditions of the license issued.

“This would enable both parties to properly account for the Revenue Sharing Agreement in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the License issued to Alpha Lotto Limited and all Lotto Operators Licensed by NLA under Act 844,” it further explained.

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“As part of the agreement, Terms and Conditions of the license issued under Act 844, a Draw Committee must be constituted by the NLA to monitor all Draws. So far no Draw Committee has been constituted by NLA to supervise the Draws of Alpha Lotto Limited,” NLA continued.

To this end, the Authority has warned Alpha Lotto Limited to cease the live draw on GTV, and stop the operation of the digital short code *896# with immediate effect, adding that failure to do so “would attract the necessary sanctions including revocation of the company’s license under Act 844.”

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