The Member of Parliament for Assin South Constituency, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, is advocating for laws to curb the proliferation of commercial gambling in the country.
According to him, the Gaming Act 2006 (Act 721) does not provide sufficient control measures for the management of the commercial operations hence the influx of such centers.Delivering a statement on the floor of the Parliament, John Ntim Fordjour noted that, although statistics show that the National Gaming Commission issued licences to only twenty-three (23) casinos, twelve (12) sports betting companies and four (4) route machines (slot machines), the number of companies operating in these areas far exceed the number of licenses issued, indicating that some of the centres were operating illegally.
He said gambling presented many social impacts including behavioural disorder, fraud, financial crises and sometime suicide.
“This country does not possess the requisite resilience and capacity to contain the grave ramifications and hazards that the current state of gambling liberalization potentially poses. Therefore, the proliferation of commercial gambling must be strongly discouraged in our society.. Mr. Speaker, the principle and practice of commercial gambling and the proliferation thereof, are fundamentally alien to and in-congruent with the rich and bold cultural values of our beloved nation-state Ghana,” he said.
“In the next thirty (30) years, we do not wish to see a population rather skillful at gambling and objectionable quick-money-generating ventures, flawed with addiction and gambling-related psychological disorders. I believe we would wish to build a society of honest, hardworking and productive population, endeavoring within a safe and competitive environment epitomized by entrepreneurial and job opportunities. We should seek to build a society in which our indigenous cultural values are preserved and sustained across successive generations, but not traded for insubstantial commercial gains,” he added.
He suggested that, the relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Interior and Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies should constitute the ‘Gaming Regulatory Task Force’ to ensure strict enforcement of the current Gaming laws while considerations are made to amend it.
He also called on the media, religious and civil society organizations to help address the issue.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana