The Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Brigadier-General Martin Ahiaglo, has denounced the activities of illegal lottery operators, also known as banker-to-banker, saying they are depriving the state of money for development.

“The activities of banker-to-banker operators are at a level that have never been witnessed in this country before. The monies that these operators make go into private pockets thus depriving the state of the needed revenue to undertake developmental projects,” Brigadier-Genral Ahiaglo said in Accra at the launch of  a new product from the NLA called the Machine Numbers Game.

In addition, Brigadier-Genral Ahiaglo said the growing number of betting companies in the country is also putting pressure on the disposable income of punters.

“Many sport betting outlets have also sprung up in the last couple of years putting more pressure on punters whose disposable income have not appreciated significantly with the same period," he said.

As such, he called for creative and innovative ways from the NLA to stay ahead of banker-to-banker operators.

“As the sole constitutional body mandated by the state to conduct lottery, we need to be creative and innovative in other to stay ahead of these illegal operators,” he satated.

Explaining the new Machine Number Game, Brigadier-Genral Ahiaglo said it is designed to give punters an opportunity to win prizes on the last set of five numbers to be drawn out of the machine.

“These machine numbers have been used by some lotto forecasters and players to arrive at the first set of five numbers since 1962,” he said.

“The research we conducted in our key markets before the introduction of this game confirmed that a lot of players have on several occasions had their staked numbers ‘dropped’ as machine numbers,” he added.