Monday 25 March, 2019

NLCB: Lotto booth robberies might be inside jobs

Are Lotto booth agents setting up their own robberies?

The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) says it has cause to believe that this may the case at some Lotto booths across Trinidad and Tobago.

Speaking before a Joint Select Committee on Wednesday, NLCB online manager Rolph Clarke said there remains a question mark about some of the robberies taking place.

He made the statement in response to a question posed by JSC member Ayanna Webster Roy, who raised concerns over the incidence of robberies at Lotto booths in Tobago.

“We have reason to believe that some robberies are “self-managed”. People are quite prepared to take a blow over the head after they have lost our funds either through gaming themselves or utilising these funds for their personal use.

We have a few situations like that that we are trying to treat with.”

Clarke said the NLCB is working to improve its system of accounting management by its agent network.

He revealed that a credit policy is now being rolled out along with strengthening of the monitoring system of the agents and their activity.

He said this will allow the NLCB to flag mismanagement at an early stage.

“The system is being improved to accommodate that and hopefully in the next two months or so, we will have a much improved system to allow us to accomplish that far more effectively,” he said.

He also addressed concerns about customers with winning tickets being sent to other locations for payouts.

“There are locations where people sometimes avoid paying customers and winners for their own reasons and they refer you to other places so that you can be paid, but this is not really something that you would want to encourage because customers should be paid wherever they present a winning ticket.”

Clarke said it is something the NLCB would be looking into.   

Agents are required to achieve a minimum of $25,000 in weekly sales and are paid eight percent commission on sales.

“We have a minimum criteria on weekly sales of which we want each agent to achieve but that could vary up to $100,000 a week, $250,000 in some instances depending on the particular trade style location as the case may be.”

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