The National Lottery Authority (NLA) has announced plans to slightly delay payment on winning tickets and prizes after every draw for a number of days due to COVID-19 and the activities of lotto fraudsters.
In a statement sent to The Herald, the authority asked the staking public, media, lotto discounters, lotto marketing companies and other stakeholders, to take note of the measures and act accordingly.
The statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of NLA, also further mentioned how imperative it had become for the Authority to properly investigate Winning Tickets/Prize before payment due to the rising activities of lotto fraudsters in the lottery industry.
"..we are passionately appealing to the staking public, lotto discounters and lotto marketing companies to exercise patience with the process so that collectively and individually we all can transform the lottery industry", the statement pleaded.
The decision by NLA, it said is to do due diligence, thorough investigation and validation of Winning Tickets would definitely affect the timelines for payment.
Aside issues of fraud, it explained that "the employees of the Authority currently run on Shift as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic".
The statement said "inasmuch as we are ever willing to satisfy the staking public, lotto discounters and lotto marketing companies, it is equally important for NLA to also take pragmatic steps to protect the lives of the employees of the Authority in this difficult period of the Coronavirus pandemic".
It explained that "due to the Shifts system currently administered by the Authority, validation and payment of winning tickets would reasonably delay and we are respectfully appealing to the staking public, lotto discounters and lotto marketing companies to exercise patience since we are not in normal times".
"From the above stated reasons, we are humbly urging the staking public, lotto discounters and lotto marketing companies to promptly register their respective Winning Tickets at nearby Regional and District Offices of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) or even at the Authority's Head Office for thorough validation and investigation of the Winning Tickets before payment", it said.