AN audit into the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), legislation to eliminate illegal gambling and greater enforcement of existing laws are among the Electronic Lotto Agents Association (ELATT)’s budget suggestions submitted to the Ministry of Finance.
In a letter to Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Monday, ELATT illegal gambling, including unsanctioned play whe games cost the government $3.2 billion in revenue annually.
It has also asked the government to discontinue the lottery winnings tax introduced in 2018 on online games (a 10 per cent tax on winnings) because it is a deterrent and discouragement to players. Regarding the NLCB, the state board that oversees online games like Lotto and Play Whe, ELATT called for “an urgent and much needed forensic audit into the finance department at the NLCB.”
This, the association said, follows numerous discrepancies in the win tax indebtedness of agents; discrepancies in weekly settlements; and discrepancies and tardiness in verification of agents’ weekly deposits by the finance department of the NLCB. “All of these leads to frustration, counter-production and unnecessary harassment of agents by the management of the NLCB,” ELATT said.
Agents also asked for a resolution to banking issues that may require the minister’s intervention. They also requested an increase in commission to 12 per cent, saying it has been 15 years since the last time they received an increase.
ELATT also wants Government to consider a pandemic relief grant to operators who have been affected by the covid19 restrictions, which for a time meant all electronic gambling activity stopped. The association’s proposal was sent to the NLCB since May, ELATT said.
“The association waits in anticipation of favourable consideration of our proposals by (the minister),” ELATT said, inviting him to reach out to them for any concern or clarification.