FG slams N10m fine on Lottery Operator for violating operational conditions

Directs Immediate Payment of Winners

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE Federal Government through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission NLRC has slammed a fine of ten million naira on Sponge Nigeria Limited for violating the operational terms and conditions of its promo permit.

The Commission has also directed the promotional lottery operator to pay, without further delay, all lucky winners in its concluded promotional lottery captioned “Better Life Billionaire Promo”.

This was contained in a letter to Sponge Nigeria Limited, dated 27th May 2020 and signed by the Director-General, NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila.

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The letter alleged that Sponge Nigeria Limited had over six months ago conducted a promotional lottery captioned Better Life Billionaire Promo where several participants won varying amounts of money, totalling about one hundred and thirty-eight Million Naira (N138,000,000.00) but has failed to redeem these winnings due to reasons the Commission considers unacceptable.

It read, “Your continued failure and/or refusal to pay legitimate winnings is a flagrant violation of the National Lottery Act 2005 (“Act”) and Regulation, and Operational Terms and Conditions, which were duly signed by you on 2nd August 2019.

“By accepting NLRC permit for the BLB promo, Sponge was legally bound to conduct its affairs with all due propriety and protect participating stakeholders.

“Under express terms of the signed Terms and Conditions, Sponge promised to “ensure that all prizes and monies due to prize winners are redeemed in full.”

Besides other alleged violations, NLRC DG told Sponge that its failure to pay winnings undermines the integrity of the lottery/gaming industry and was inconsistent with transparency accountability and fairness which are hallmarks of the Commission’s operations.

The Commission said it finds Sponge in breach of the operational terms and conditions which consequently results in “an additional violation fee in the sum of ten million naira (N10,000,000) which if not paid as soon as the letter was received would attract additional sanctions and enforcement action to the full extent of applicable law.



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