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|Premier Betting Celebrates First Anniversary of Gambling Business in Liberia||| Print ||
|Written by Danesius Marteh, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Thursday, 25 July 2013 03:00|
Monrovia - Premier Sport Betting and Lottery is here for the unforeseeable future, according to chief executive officer Richard Kean.
was speaking at a news conference at the Krystal ocean view hotel in Mamba Point on July 23 to mark their first anniversary.
He said the anniversary came at the time Liberia is celebrating 166th Independence Day and 10 years of peace and stability since the signing of a peace agreement among warring parties in Accra, Ghana in August 2003.
Premier game lottery is run by Mercury Liberia Incorporated, a joint Liberian and foreign owner’s trade.
Kean said 94 Liberians have a full-time employment with 200 self-employed sales agents in and round Monrovia.
“So we will estimate that 1,500 people are eating regularly now. “While as a businessman, my motivations are often about the balanced sheet and getting the numbers right, I also take great personal satisfaction in seeing some of the values we feel we have added back into Liberia.
“We are seeing people able to educate their children; repair and build new houses and start their own businesses.
“It gives me the greatest satisfaction than I will get doing this job in the UK (United Kingdom). “So l like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Liberia for the warm welcome given to us,” Kean pointed-out.
He revealed that 10,000 winners have been paid the value of their bets from the onset of the business. Kean said they have a partnership with government to run the national lotteries. “We are the only sports betting company in Liberia that has been licensed by the gaming regulator, Liberia National Lotteries Corporation.
“We have an exclusive agreement to run the national lottery on behalf of the Liberian government,” said Kean, as an apparent warning to cellphone companies that have added lottery to their marketing strategies.
Towards this end, he added that premier have complied with all regulations and requirements to operate in Liberia. “We have made payment of the previous lottery’s audited debts of over US$250,000.
“We have made a security deposit of US$250,000 to guarantee funds available to pay winning customers. “All [our] employees [are] registered with Nasscorp (National Social Security and Welfare Corporation).
“We have an agreement with and have paid fees to both PCC (Paynesville City Corporation) and MCC (Monrovia City Corporation) for permission to place our booths around the cities.
“We have a total investment of US$3 million and make regular donations to the Mercury Charitable Foundation, valued at over L$500,000,” he declared.
Premier and Winners have been accused of allowing children under 18 to gamble. But Kean said while why it is difficult to identify the ages of children, an agent was penalized for allowing a child in uniform to enter the store.
“The law in Liberia is very clear and we intend to abide by it. The gaming should only be open to over 18s. “All of our stores have uniform security to prevent school children the premises so that they don’t even have a chance to play.
“I will accept that it is harder to monitor every single agent in the field. But what I can tell you is we take it exceptionally seriously. “I don’t want children gambling. Children should be in school learning. On one occasion, it has been reported to us that an agent was selling to underage children.
“And I can assure you that within eight minutes of getting that report, that agent was no longer selling any tickets to anybody and will never work in my business again.
“Every agent, it is part of the terms and conditions; we don’t sell to under 18s. Now I will accept that sometimes it is difficult to tell a 17-year-old to an 18-year-old particularly if they are out of uniforms.
“But the responsibility is on us to check and all our agents are instructed, if they are in doubt, they must ask the customers for photographic IDs. “And if the customer can’t prove his/her age, I am sorry sir, we will not take your bet,” Kean explained.
Lottery draws are held from Mondays to Saturdays at 7:30PM with payments done in hours. Kean said plans are underway to take Premier to Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties but didn’t disclose dateline. Premier is the biggest game betting company in Africa, operating in 80 countries and Liberia being its 18th African destination.