New Lotto Authority Gets More Power

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law an Act repealing the 1993 Act of the Liberia National Lotteries Corporation thus creating the National Lottery Authority.

According to a release, the new Act gives the agency the exclusive power to conduct, manage, regulate, and supervise Lotto and all other games of chance within the entire country.

The Act identifies games of chance as raffles, casinos, numbers games, raffle draws, casino slot machines, schemes, arrangements, systems, plans and promotional competition or device for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance.

The new National Lotto Authority will also monitor, supervise and regulate any exercise of skill and chance or betting based on the outcome of an event, including but not limited to sports, or any other game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan, competition or device which shall be operated pursuant to the issuance of a license under this Act.

The Act which was signed on December 22, 2014 by the President compels companies operating casinos, slot machines, sports betting and others hosting raffle draws, promotional competitions or devices for the distribution of prizes by lots or chance to acquire a permit or license from the Authority.

The new Act also created a Board of Directors that includes several Ministries as statutory members; the Liberia National Bar Association, Liberia Teachers Association and the Chamber of Commerce.

The National Lottery Authority Act was introduced by Representative Clarence Massaquoi of electoral District 3, Lofa County, and was printed into handbills on March 6, 2015.

The new Act which came into effect as of its printing into handbills by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 6, 2015 was drafted with the cooperation and participation of the Law Reform Commission and other stake holders.

Prior to the signing into law of the new Lotto Act, some sporting betting companies and other businesses staging raffle draws and operating casinos often challenged the authority of the former Liberia National Lotteries  Corporation to require them to obtain operating licenses.  

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