The GAC was mainly created to audit government transactions and investigate issues of corruption and financial malpractices, while the NLA is clothed with the authority to supervise games of chance which have been listed as including raffles, numbers games, casinos, slot machines or promotional competitions or any scheme, system or arrangement that results in the distribution of a prize by chance.
Credible sources within the NLA confided in the Heritage on condition of anonymity that the GAC’s audit on the NLA, which is being concluded, has unearthed over $US 2.7M that cannot be accounted for and has asked the Management of the NLA including its suspended Director-General to explain why the funds cannot be accounted for.
The sources averred that the Management Letter, which has been sent to the NLA, uncovered several discrepancies as relates to the operations of the NLA.
The preliminary findings of the audit divulge that gaming entities that appear to be caught in the dragnet of the GAC include: Palm Springs Resort and its Sports Betting Company GoBet231. The audit finds that between 2015-2019, Palm Springs and GoBet231 owe government collectively an alarming US$426,000.00. Additionally, the audit uncovered that both companies failed the financial solvency test, had no due diligence done and continues to operate without a Board’s Resolution from the NLA’s Board as required by law.
A critical observation from the Auditors is that there is no documentary evidence that Palm Springs’ GoBet231 Sports Betting Company met the required investment portfolio and financial capacity to cover liabilities which is a requirement by law.
GOBET 231 is a newly operating Sports Betting Company which is owned by Palm Springs Resort.
Findings from an earlier “Critical Internal Review Evaluation” in June of 2019 revealed that some of the operators in the gaming sector owed government fees and revenue from far back as 3 to 4 years ago summing up to over half of a Million United States Dollars, to be exact, US$789,460 collectively owed by Doxx Bet, GoBet231, Mainline International, Fortuna Liberia and Palm Springs.
The GAC Audit has now confirmed what the Critical Internal Evaluation commissioned by Acting Director-General Neved P. Kortu discovered but in even greater magnitude. Experts within the gaming sector have often spoken of the fact that the sector was not being properly regulated and that government has been losing immense revenue with no growth, but overcrowding of the sector with very little impact on jobs creation or expanded revenue base.
Coming to power officially on January 22, 2018, President Weah made promises to his people and the world. One of such was that he would fight corruption and improve the lives of the ordinary Liberians by making sure that those given responsibilities to work in his government would perform and make the difference or else they would be let go of those responsibilities. He also promised to honor the findings of previous audits and to mandate new ones, such as he has done with the NLA’s Audit.