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The National Lottery Administration (NLA) is carrying out an assessment to bring customary lottery games that the agency considers as illegal, into a legal truck by letting them pay some percent of commission to the government.
Teklu Weldetsdik, Director of Lottery License and Control department at NLA told Capital that giving permits to game makers of the customary chance games will create more jobs and the government would get income from paid commission.
“When permits are issued, any person who wants to run a chance game will be registered by NLA and they will notify us the type of game, rules of the game, notification date of winners, and the amount of commission that will be paid to the government.’’
Instant chance games similar to ordinary lottery and other chance games that are widely played in places like hotels, bars, markets and work areas are expected to become legalized shortly after the assessment is completed.
Game makers of the customary lottery type collect cash from ticket sells and they give away items like sheep, car, and household equipments for the winners who are drawn through a random selection.
The money that is collected from such quasi-lottery games is streamed entirely to the game makers without paying any levy to the government.
Carrying out any chance games without the permission of NLA will result in five years of imprisonment and up to 100,000 birr fine. The National Lottery Administration Re-Establishment Regulation no 160/2009 clearly states that no person may undertake lottery activities without having a permit issued by the Administration.
“For several years, we have been chasing after the illegal chance game makers to stop them doing this thing because the individuals get more profit and they don’t pay commission. But now, we’re conducting a study to persuade them to work with us,” Teklu added.
The administration has given permission to Football City PLC to play sport betting by guessing results of European club games, goals, numbers of yellow cards drawn, and other things in the game.
The agency gave the first permit for sport betting in 2014 to Ethio-Sport PLC but the trend is not still familiar in the Ethiopian market.
Conventional Bingo, Tombola Lottery, Sport Betting, and Promotion Lottery are authorized lotteries in Ethiopia.
The NLA is also contemplating to launch a new online lottery, which will be sold over the internet. The lottery is expected to be available in the market by June 2015.