• Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Police grab Chinese for illegally operating ‘jackpot machines’

A Chinese man has been arrested in Kumasi for operating unlawful analogue or non-digital gambling or betting devices known as ‘jackpot machines.’

During a special operation in Kumasi’s Atasomanso, police seized at least 500 jackpot machines.

In the early hours of Wednesday, police entered Eric Wang’s house, followed by officials from the Gaming Commission of Ghana (GCG) and media, and confiscated ‘jackpot machines,’ which included coins worth GHC 1.00 and 0.50.

Wang has been released on investigation bail, while police are on the lookout for four other Chinese nationals who are on the run.

When the Chinese, working under the name ‘Wotinkwa Limited,’ learned of the activity, they gathered the equipment from the Manso region in the Amansie District and other Ashanti Region areas and stored them in a garage and bedrooms.

Beatrice Baiden, GCG’s Public Affairs Manager, told journalists following the exercise that the Commission issued a directive to all gambling operators in 2018 stating its desire to abolish all analogue machines.

The prohibition went into effect on January 1, 2022, and she said it was part of the Commission’s efforts to bring gaming up to worldwide standards and best practices.

Ms Baiden stated that the Commission had consulted with gaming operators about the guidelines and had offered them the option of using ordinary digital machines that met international standards as an alternative.

She expressed concern that the operations of illegal gaming operators of analogue machines were exposing minors to unlawful gambling.

“Mainly due to the machine’s ease of mobility and assembly, its proliferation and exposure to children in remote locations has been on the rise,” Ms Baiden explained.

She urged the public to report any operator or anyone involved in the assembly of such equipment to the Commission so that appropriate action may be taken.

The Gaming Oversee Group (GCG) is a corporate entity created under the Gaming Act 2006 (Act721) to regulate, control, monitor, and supervise the operations of games of chance, with the exception of lotteries.

The GCG makes recommendations for the formation of policies on games of chance and acts as an advisory body to the government on gaming issues in the country, among other things.

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