NLA partners European Lotteries on responsible gaming


The National Lottery Authority (NLA) has partnered the European Lotteries for training on responsible gaming.

The move forms part of NLA’s commitment to promoting responsible gaming practices in accordance with the standards of the World Lottery Association.

The training which was attended by management of the NLA, held sessions for retailers, private lotto operators, third party collaborators and lotto marketing companies.

NLA has achieved WLA level 2 certification in responsible gaming and has applied to attain level three. The level three certification requirement stipulates that the Authority embarks on such training to periodically strengthen its lottery operations in accordance with best practices of the World Lottery Association.

At the training, sessions were held on responsible gaming, fighting illegal lottery operations, anti-money laundering and the use of new technologies in gaming.

Speaking after the training, Director General of the NLA, Sammi Awuku, said the training is key in tracking and clamping down illegal lottery operation strategies in the system.

More importantly he said, introduction of technology in lottery presents the NLA an opportunity to use new digital tools to advance lottery operations.

“So far, only the European Lotteries has put together a comprehensive and a legal framework to guide the usage of AI and technology in the lottery industry. We are yet to study it and see how it can impact on what we do” he said.

However, Mr Awuku explained that the training, which is a certificated-programme, will help the lotto marketing companies and the private lotto operators to understand the negative impacts of illegal lotto operations on their own revenues and how they can assist the NLA to curb the menace.

He said Ghana through the NLA, has bid for an observer status at the European Lotteries level, a quest if attained in June 16, 2024, will open the doors in terms of technology access, deeper collaboration between the Authority and the European Lotteries.

“An observer status will also help in deepening surveillance and tracking illegal lottery operations and assisting the NLA develop lottery. The status will also offer NLA an opportunity for European Lotteries to help in the development of a legal framework, regular seminars etc among other benefits” he said.

European Lotteries Head of Legal, Phillipe Vlaemminck, at the training, commended the NLA and describe the NLA as dynamic and one of the leading lottery operators on the continent.

He said the training was important as illegalities in the industry continue to rise adding, “the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that the illegal lottery market worldwide loses US$1.7 trillion annually”.

This, he noted, is a real threat and calls for authorities to protect societies against illegal lotteries across board.

Mr. Vlaemminck however argue that lottery already touches society in many positive ways and as such, it is important for governments to relook at taxing the industry.

He said the NLA has shown deepened commitment and interest in what is happening at the world level in the industry, a phenomenon which enhances knowledge sharing and makes the Authority a responsible gaming operator.

Mr. Vlaemminck was accompanied by the Director of EU Public Affairs, Ms. Beata Guzik for the training programme in Ghana.

Recent feats by the NLA

Under Mr. Awuku’s visionary leadership, the NLA has gained recognition in the sub-region and among lottery bodies, where he serves as the first-ever elected Anglophone Vice President of the African Lotteries Association (ALA).

With his strategic direction, the NLA is now recognized as a key partner for other African lottery bodies like Ivory Coast and Nigeria, where the Authority’s games are exported, raking in revenue for the Authority.

Mr Awuku is credited with transformational leadership, having regulated the consumer promotion space on the Caritas lottery platform, given back to communities, institutions, and individuals through the NLA Good Causes Foundation, and improved staff welfare.

In accordance with the World Lottery Association (WLA) standards, Mr Awuku, with the support of the NLA Governing Board and Management, has enhanced the Authority’s business operations by remodelling its Draw Studio and acquiring state-of-the-art draw machines, attained WLA Level 2 Certification in Responsible Gaming and spearheaded innovation and digitalization across various business operations.

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