Football betting company, Winners which is accused of operating a betting company without proper license, has been warned to regularize its status or face closure.
Under the 1993 Legislative Act, all betting companies and games of chance including lotto, sport betting, play stations, casino and slot machine, must obtain genuine license from the Liberia National Lottery Corporation prior to their establishment.
But Winners, as discovered, has operated for the period of three years without license and authorization from the National Lottery which is charged with the responsibility to regulate, monitor, and structure betting companies.
With its headquarters on Broad Street, Winners has succeeded in establishing branches throughout Monrovia where dozens of Liberians are seen assembled on a daily basis to bet on football and other games.
The Liberia National Lottery Corporation’s Executive Director Martin Kollie who commented on the issue, described the company’s action as act of fraudulence and called on the company and others without licenses to regularize their status or face closure.
He said it was good for companies to get licenses before operating because funds realized from issuance of license are used to buttress government’s effort to support charitable and social services.
According to him, Winners’ decision to “boycott the payment of license fees” has the potential of undermining government’s good intention for these institutions.
Kollie further disclosed that no company is allowed to operate lotto in Liberia order than Mercury-Liberia which entered into agreement with government in March 2012 to operate the National Lottery and pay renitence fees 4.2% of its income monthly.
He warned that institutions caught operating lotto company will face serious actions under the law.
At the same time, when Winners’ spokesman Fallah Braimd was contacted he did not deny or confirm the claims, but said his organization received authorization from the Ministry of Information Cultural and Tourism to carry on its operation.
He told reporters that he was prepared to comply with the Liberia National Lottery to regularize it status, adding that the company has been discussing the issue with the management of the National Lottery.