NLRC Directs Immediate Payment of Winners

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission has directed a promotional lottery operator; Sponge Nigeria Limited to pay, without further delay, all lucky winners in its concluded promotional lottery captioned “Better Life Billionaire Promo”.

The Commission also slammed a fine of Ten Million Naira on the company for violating the Operational Terms & Conditions of its promo permit.

This was contained in a correspondence to Sponge Nigeria Limited, dated 27th of May 2020 in which reasons for the fine were conveyed.

Sponge Nigeria Limited had over six months ago conducted a promotional lottery captioned Better Life Billionaire Promo(BLB Promo) were several participants won varying amounts of money, totaling about One Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million Naira (N138,000,000.00) but has failed to redeem these winnings due to reasons the Commission considers unacceptable.

The letter to the company, signed by the Director-General, NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila read in part “ your continued failure and/or refusal to pay legitimate winnings is a flagrant violation of the National Lottery Act 2005 (“Act”) and Regulation, and Operational Terms and Conditions, which were duly signed by you on 2nd August 2019. By accepting the NLRC permit for the BLB Promo, Sponge was legally bound to conduct its affairs with all due propriety and protect participating stakeholders. Under express terms of the signed Terms and Conditions, Sponge promised to “ensure that all prizes and monies due to prize winners are redeemed in full”

Besides other violations, NLRC DG told Sponge that its failure to pay winnings undermines the integrity of the lottery/gaming industry and was inconsistent with transparency accountability and fairness which are hallmarks of the Commission’s operations.

The Commission, therefore, finds Sponge in breach of the operational Terms and Conditions which consequently results in “an additional Violation fee in the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00) which if not paid as soon as the letter was received would attract additional sanctions and enforcement action to the full extent of applicable law.

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