Business News of Wednesday, 13 December 2017
The Gaming Commission in collaboration with a task force has confiscated 18 slot machines (jackpot) at Juapong and its environs in the Volta Region for flouting the Commission’s Act.
The Commission also closed down two betting shops- Safaribe and Eurobet in Akosombo in the Eastern Region for operating illegally and without underage signage which contravened section 48 of Gaming Act 721, 2006 of the Commission.
According to the Act, owners of the machines forfeit the machines and the machines will be destroyed by the approval of the Board if they failed to regularise their licence and permit after 30 days.
Kobby Annan, the Deputy Commissioner of the Gaming Commission of Ghana, who led the operation in an interview with the media after the exercise, said the exercise was a simultaneous nationwide operation due to illegal gaming activities.
He said the timing of the exercise was strategic because as the year comes to an end, the Commission envisaged that a lot of illegal operators would use the festive occasion to cash in on unsuspecting punters and minors.
Mr Annan noted that the exercise had aided their outfit to identify illegal shops and they took inventory of such betting shops that were operating on the blind side of the Commission.
He said the Commission would undertake three-day of operations in the regions and that the seized slot machines would be kept in the custody of the Volta Regional Police Headquarters.
According to the Deputy Commissioner, the regulations required betting centres to have identifiable office, a service mark logo registered with the registrar of companies among others to operate.
He said the rise of underage children involved in gambling and several complaints from parents whose children were actively involved in the act also necessitated the Commission to embark on the operation.
He advised betting companies to display a signpost in front of their businesses to discourage under-aged children from entering the shops.
The Deputy Commissioner said the exercise was a shared responsibility and urged the public to assist the Commission by giving timely information about the activities of these illegal operators for action.
He said the Commission would intensify engagement with local authorities and the National Council for Civic Education to educate the community on the activities of illegal gaming and underage gambling.
DCOP Nana Asoma Hinneh, the Volta Regional Police Commander, said the Police would continue to collaborate with the Commission to clamp down the activities of illegal gaming in the Region.
He said the Police had received complaints from the community about the activities of underage
Gambling, which he described as a worrying situation because of the future of the children.
DCOP Hinneh advised parents to serve as a check on their wards and assist the police with timely information on underage gaming activities for action to be taken.