Thursday, July 5, 2012

Court rule in favor of NLA against Gaming Commission

Following series of what many pundits thought will be unending legal battle between the National Lottery Authority of Ghana and the Gaming Commission over who has the mandated by law to undertake the supervision of lottery and gaming in Ghana, an Accra High Court has giving it definite verdict on the matter noting that it is only the National Lottery Authority that has the legitimate right by law to undertake lotteries activities in the country.
Per the court ruling, permits and licenses issued by the Gaming Commission of Ghana to companies and institutions to undertake promotions and related activities in the country is illegal. The court further barred the commission from undertaking or licensing companies and institutions in the country to undertake such promotions, especially those that are lotteries but disguised as games.
It could be recalled that courts actions were brought against Milicom Ghana operators of Tigo, Airtel and MTN together with other financial institutions by the NLA. But the court rule against NLA and barred it from solely initiating court actions against these companies without first resorting to the Attorney General, the current court overturned that ruling –giving the authority the capacity to continue with such actions.
The High Court which was presided by Her Ladyship, Mrs Getrude Torkornoo, also ruled that the GC was not only exceeding and abusing its mandate, but also utilizing it for improper purpose without regard to “considerations surrounding the reasons why Act 721 and 722 were passes”.
“The Gaming Commission does not, by any stretch of interpretation, have the mandate to permit the operation of games of chance” the ruling noted.
Mr. Kojo Andah, Director General of NLA at a press conference in Accra reiterated that the NLA was hoping the Gaming Commission would respect the court’s ruling and cease the illegalities it had engaged in prior to the court action.
But in an interview with Mr. Rex Yeboah from the Gaming Commission reveals how disappointed they felt per the ruling barring them from their constitutional mandate to undertake activities of gaming in the country. He said although they accept the court ruling for now, their legal team will be studying the verdict and at an appropriate time file an appeal. As to when that would take place Mr. Yeboah failed to disclose that.

Benjamin Nana Appiah Acquaye
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