Overseeing National Lottery
The National Lottery is run by an independent company in terms of a licence awarded by the Minister of Trade and Industry for a period of five years, with a possible extension bringing the total period to a maximum of eight years. The NLB's job is to ensure that the Lottery operator works strictly within the law and in a manner that is honest and efficient, yields good returns, and is fair to everyone involved.
We do this by:
- Assisting the Minister of Trade and Industry to select the best possible candidate for the National Lottery operator's licence.
- Continually monitoring Lottery operations through inspections and other hands-on methods, to ensure compliance with the law and protection of the public interest.
- Advising the Minister about strengthening the laws that apply to the National Lottery (See Advising on Policy).
Allocating the operator's licence
The operation of the National Lottery is a massive undertaking which demands substantial investment in infrastructure and personnel. It is for this reason that each licence is granted for a minimum of five years.
The amount available for good causes is directly linked to the volume of ticket sales, so it is important to the NLB that the operator is effective, able to meet player demand in every corner of the country and equipped with fail-proof systems for making and recording sales.
The operator's ability to communicate with the broad public is also a critical factor, so that players have easy access to the results of every draw.
Two licences have been awarded to date:
- Uthingo Management (2000 - 2007).
- Gidani (Pty) Ltd (2007 - 2014).
The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has a Compliance Division that monitors the operation of the National Lottery.
- It conducts random inspections of Lottery draws.
- It undertakes security inspections of draw equipment and processes.
- It audits the figures on Lottery sales, weekly payments to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), and prizes paid out.
- It visits retailers of lottery tickets to physically verify compliance and also audits retailer data.
- It conducts scratch card audits.
- It monitors the lottery operator's social responsibility initiatives.
Fraudulent activities are detected from time to time. While the majority are dealt with by the security section of the lottery operator, criminal charges are sometimes laid and some cases are prosecuted. The NLB sets high targets for the operator's performance in terms of:
- The reliability and availability of the on-line lottery system.
- Validation and prompt payment of winnings.
- Customer service.
The operator's record in terms of meeting these targets is reflected in every Annual Report. In general, there has been only minor deviation from the standards required.