Police grab Chinese for illegally operating ‘jackpot machines’

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Northeast Today

Police in Kumasi have arrested a Chinese for operating illegal analogue or non-digital machines, popularly called ‘jackpot machines’, for gaming or betting.

The police seized at least 500 jackpot machines in a special exercise at Atasomanso, in Kumasi.

The police accompanied by officials of the Gaming Commission of Ghana (GCG) and journalists, stormed the house of Eric Wang, suspect, in the early hours of Wednesday, and confiscated ‘jackpot machines’, which contained coins -GHC 1.00 and 0.50.

Wang has been released on enquiry bail while the police have mounted a search for four other Chinese, who are on the run.

When the Chinese, operating under the name of ‘Wotinkwa Limited’, heard of exercise, they collected the machines from the Manso area in the Amansie District and other communities in Ashanti Region and kept them in a garage and bedrooms.

The Public Affairs Manager of GCG, Beatrice Baiden, speaking to journalists after the exercise, said the Commission in 2018, issued a directive to all gaming operators on its intention to ban all analogue machines.

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She said that the ban took effect from January 1, 2022, and that the directive formed part of the Commission’s efforts to upgrade gaming to meet international standards and best practices.

Ms Baiden said the Commission had engaged gaming operators on the directives and given them the opportunity to adopt conventional digital machines of international standards as an alternative.

She expressed worry that the activities of the illegal gaming operators of the analogue machines tended to expose children to gaming contrary to the law.

“Mainly due to the ease of mobility and assembling of the machine, its proliferation and exposure to children in obscure places, has been on the ascendancy”, Ms Baiden noted.

She appealed to the public report any operator or persons assembling such machines to the Commission for the necessary action.

The GCG is a corporate body, established under the Gaming Act 2006 (Act721), to regulate, control, monitor and supervise the operations of games of chance with the exception of lotto.

The GCG makes proposals for the formulation of policies on games of chance and serves as an advisory body to the government on gaming activities, among others in the country.

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