Friday, June 2, 2017

CJ Fights Illegal Lotto Operators With 11 Courts For Prosecution

7:33:00 PM

Trouble looms against illegal lotto operators in the country such as รข€˜Banker to Banker operators following the inauguration of lotto courts in the country.

The Chief Justice, in collaboration with the National Lottery Authority, has designated 11 specialised Circuit Courts across the country to prosecute illegal lotto operators. Out of the 11 courts, two are in Accra with one each in the other regions.

The designated courts are Accra Circuit Courts 1 and 2, Tema Circuit Court B, Kumasi Circuit Court 4, Takoradi Circuit Court, Sunyani Circuit Court A, Koforidua Circuit Court B, Cape Coast Circuit Court 1, Ho, Tamale and Wa Circuit courts.

The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, who retires on June 8, was represented by Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Sir Dominic Dannis Adjei.

She said the Judicial Training Institute has to train prosecutors in specialised areas to enable them to effectively prosecute their own cases.

Related offences

She said the lotto-related offences created under the Act include offences relating to a coupon contrary to section 19 of the Act which criminalises the manufacturing, distributing, selling, offering or displaying for sale coupons in contravention of section 18(2) of the Act, and offences in relation to National Lotto Law draw and foreign lottery contrary to section 27 and 29 of the Act

I have been assured by the management of the National Lottery Authority that judges who are assigned to these courts will receive regular training to give them a better appreciation of the legal issues involved in illegal lotto operations to enable them [to] handle cases efficiently and impose sentences that commensurate with the offences, she noted.

The Director General of the National Lotteries Authority, Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw, said the State had lost huge revenue due to the activities of the illegal operators.

These illegal lotto and lottery activities have adversely affected the operations of the National Lottery Authority in terms of revenue mobilisation for the government, he added.

According to the Director General, the lottery industry globally has been the preserve of the State and revenue from it has always been a major source of funding for several social development projects to help the disadvantaged in society.

He said one of the regrettable situations which was worrying was the fact that illegal lotto operators do not ensure the enforcement of the responsible Gaming Policy, which restricts and prohibits the involvement of persons under the age of 18.

This is against the law of Ghana and the code of conduct and ethics of the World Lottery Association, which is a global body that regulates the policies and ethics of the game of lottery for member states of which the National Lottery Authority is a member.

Mr Ameyaw, however, said the NLA was not out to witch-hunt illegal lotto operators but rather we are ready to embrace and give them the opportunity to operate within the framework of the law.

The exercise is expected to commence in six months time by which time all prosecutors and officers associated with the prosecution of the offenders would have been properly trained.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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