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BusinessEU criticises taxation on lottery winnings

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EU criticises taxation on lottery winnings

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European Lotteries have voiced opposition to government-imposed taxes on lottery winnings and levies on the gaming industry.

Speaking at a training program on responsible gaming hosted by the National Lottery Authority (NLA) in Accra, European Lotteries Head of Legal, Phillipe Vlaemminck, told the B&FT: “Lottery already benefits society in many positive ways, so it is important for some governments to reconsider taxing the industry.”

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He argued that people want to play, and they want to ensure the small amounts that are won do not attract taxes.

Described as a game of chance that benefits society, Vlaemminck emphasised that it is very unnecessary for governments to tax winnings on the lottery, adding: “That is the standard in many places, such as the rest of Europe, the Americas and Asia, which are tax-free for winnings because the whole profit is given back to society.”.

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) currently imposes a 10 percent withholding tax on all lottery winnings as income from lottery operations, along with a 20 percent tax rate on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR).

Vlaemminck emphasised that when players lose, society benefits through developmental projects; lottery provides an opportunity for people to dream, and when they lose, society wins.

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He also highlighted Ghana’s dynamic lottery market in Africa, praising the National Lottery Authority (NLA) as a leading gaming operator on the continent.

The European Lotteries commended the NLA for its deep commitment and interest in global industry developments, which enhances knowledge-sharing and positions the Authority as a responsible gaming operator.

During the training, the Director-General of the NLA, Sammi Awuku, stated that the program is crucial for helping the Authority track and crack down on illegal lottery strategies within the system.

Mr. Awuku explained that the certificated program will assist lotto marketing companies and private lotto operators in understanding the negative impacts of illegal lotto operations on their revenues and how they can support the NLA in curbing this issue.

He expressed the NLA’s willingness to collaborate with the European Lotteries in meaningful ways, including adopting AI and technology in the lottery industry.

The training included sessions on responsible gaming, combating illegal lottery operations, anti-money laundering, and the use of new technologies in gaming.

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