An Accra High Court (Commercial Division) awarded cost of GHÂ˘20,000 against the Gaming Commission in favour of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
The NLA on March 30, 2012 began a court process which sought to quash licenses the Gaming Commission had issued to Electroland GH Ltd, Fidelity Bank Ltd and Maxmart Ltd which they used in operating so-called games of chance.
NLA also sought injunctions to restrain the Gaming Commission from further issuing such licenses or imposing and collecting levies by charging 5 percent of the total value of promotional budget or price fund of an applicant company.
The Authority sought for an injunction to restrain the commission from sponsoring, conducting or supervising any draws for any purported promotions or games of chance.
The court, presided over by Justice Mrs. Gertrude Torkornoo J. ruled that the NLA has the sole mandate to operate lottery for which reason it has the capacity to sue or seek orders restraining the operation of other forms of lottery by persons prohibited from doing so.
The Gaming Commission was said to have abused its mandate by purporting to grant permits for the operation of alleged games of chance which were actually lottery schemes.
During a press conference yesterday, the Director General of NLA, Kojo Andah explained that the court held that the so-called games of chance permitted by the Gaming Commission were not games but lotteries, adding that according to the provisions of the Gaming Act 721, the Gaming Commission does not, by any stretch of the interpretation, have the mandate to permit the operation of games of chance of the nature operated by the Electroland GH Ltd, Fidelity Ltd and Maxmart Ltd.
The Gaming Commission was not only exceeding and abusing its mandate but also utilizing it for an improper purpose without taking account all relevant considerations surrounding the reasons why Act 721 and 722 were passed.
The court therefore quashed the permits issued by the Gaming Commission to Electroland GH Ltd, Fidelity Bank Ltd and Maxmart Ltd.
It further granted NLAâ€™s application for injunction restraining the Gaming Commission from further issuing any purported permits or licenses that allowed private enterprises to set up schemes for alleged participation in draws for prizes prior to qualification.
The Gaming Commission was also restrained from imposing and collecting purported levies and charges from promotional budget or prize funds of these schemes, sponsoring, conducting or supervising draws for these purposes.
BY Rocklyn Antonio