Belize Authorities Intensify Crackdown on Illegal Lotto Operations

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The Belize government announced last Friday that it would be implementing stringent measures against individuals involved in illegal lotto and jackpot sales, including fines of up to BDZ$50,000 and a maximum imprisonment of 5 years.

According to the country’s Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment, it has been receiving reports of multiple illegal lottery sales and will take action against those responsible.

The government also emphasized that only individuals or entities with a license or appointment by the Lotteries Committee are permitted to promote, sell, manage, or conduct boledo lottery, ordinary lottery, or jackpot lottery in the country.

Additionally, the ministry cautioned that individuals or businesses conducting, hosting, or endorsing lotteries without approval from the Lotteries Committee are operating illegally. It's also unlawful for any individual or business to modify a lottery ticket or sell one altered without authorization from the Lotteries Committee.

It further urged the public to avoid transactions with such individuals or businesses engaged in illegal gambling activities and to report any actions contrary to the public interest.

Finance Ministry Penalties

The finance ministry stated that any violation of the Lotteries Control Act will face strict legal consequences. For a first offence, the penalty will include a fine ranging from BDZ$10,000 to a maximum of $20,000. Convicted individuals could also be imprisoned for one to two years in addition to the fine.

For a second or related offence, the fine will be between BDZ$20,000 to BDZ$50,000 and imprisonment for a term ranging from two to five years.

In November, the government declared the resumption of lotto activities from December 1, following a suspension of the games since May 2 of this year.

After considering the importance of the government lottery due to its cultural significance and the tax revenues it generates, the Cabinet instructed the incorporation of the Belize Government Lotteries Limited (BGLL), a company owned by the Government of Belize and whose core mandate is to administer, sell, and promote the Belize government lotteries.

StatementGovernment of Belize

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