Monrovia - 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 draw, casino, slot machine, scheme, arrangement, system, plan, 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 other hosting raffle draw, promotional competition or device for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance to acquire a permit or license from the Authority.
The new Act also created a Board of Directors that include 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 bill by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 6, 2015 was drafted with the cooperation and participation of the Law Reform Commission, the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders. Prior to the signing into law of the new Lotto Act by the Liberian leader, some sporting betting companies and other businesses staging raffle draws and operating casinos often challenged the authority of the former Liberia National Lotteries Corporation whenever they were requested to obtain operating licenses.