The Online Gaming Agents Association of T&T (OGAATT) has written the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) over the decision to slap several of its members with delinquent fee charges.
A letter written by president of OGAATT Dean Persad, questioned if the NLCB had made any checks before imposing punishment.
Persad said, “Before implementing this fee on ‘delinquent accounts’ this association is imploring you to ensure, first, that it is not NLCB’s Finance Department and/or the respective banks that are ‘delinquent.’”
Persad made reference to a communication dated December 9, 2021, from the NLCB on the matter, stating that the NLCB’s “wanton disrespect and disregard for this association and agents knows no bounds.”
He said, “Consultation and hearing our concerns would have been welcomed, and the decent thing to do, rather than a unilateral approach and provocation. Your approach achieves nothing more than finding the ire of agents and continues to frustrate, demotivate and demoralise us.”
Persad said many agents, including him, had been unjustly labelled as delinquent despite performing their functions properly.
He cited two instances in 2019, involving him, as examples.
He added: “Firstly, in December 2019 I paid the win tax liability and as recent as July 2021 NLCB was still writing me on paying off this debt or they (NLCB) would “intensify our efforts to recover these monies.” The finance department was “delinquent.””
He then stated, “Secondly, in April 2019 my machine was suppressed for two days because the bank (FCB) did not deposit to NLCB on time. It was an “in bank” deposit, so I had my deposit slip as proof. The bank was “delinquent.”
Because of the timely and prudent intervention of Mr Nancis, the chairman, a legal battle was avoided and the matter was settled amicably.
He said agents have regularly had issues with the banks, particularly as night safe deposits provide agents with proof of deposit “when informed of “short or late deposits,” especially with FCB.”
Persad said those concerns had been raised to the board of the NLCB previously.
However, he said, “To date, you have not acted or shown any willingness to address or improve on these shortcomings. These “delinquent” behaviours is for NLCB to resolve, not agents. We cannot expect agents alone to improve when NLCB continues to be indifferent.”
Persad said the NLCB needed to stop using “strong arm tactics” as he found it contrary to the goodwill between the agents and the organisation.
He closed the letter stating, “We noticed that the $100.00 weekly fee is not shown in your settlement slip. We sincerely hope that this fee is removed. It would go a long way in improving relationships with agents. This Association is committed to a harmonious and amicable relationship with NLCB. We are open for discussion and meeting. We have said this consistently.”