Regulatory Compliance

Strategic objective: , Programme 2 detailed here


The NLC’s responsibilities in regulating the National Lottery, as set out in the Act and applicable regulations, are as follows:


Central to the mandate of the NLC is the regulation of the National Lottery. A Licence to Operate the National Lottery was awarded to Ithuba in 2015, in terms the Lotteries Act No. 57 of 1997, as amended. The NLC’s responsibilities in regulating the National Lottery, as set out in the Act and applicable regulations, are as follows:

As part of the ongoing regulatory work and delivering on the Annual Performance Plan target for the period under review, the following was conducted in regulating and ensuring the Operator’s compliance with, and performance against, the Licence Agreement and the Act:

Ensuring that all persons that run or are associated with running the National Lottery are fit and proper

All directors and staff of the Operator, together with Retailers who sell National Lottery tickets are vetted. The NLC also ensures that key contractors that conduct business with the Operator are also vetted to ensure that the integrity of the National Lottery is maintained and players are protected.

Regulatory approvals and ministerial advice

The NLC receives proposals from the Operator for new games or changes to existing games, introduction of alternate channels of play and amendments to game rules and prize pay-out structures. These proposals are assessed and approved by the Board as required in the Act and the Licence Agreement.

Various proposals were submitted by the Operator during the year under review and the necessary approvals were granted once compliance with the Act and Licence Agreement was verified. Before recommending approval on any proposals, the NLC considers the following issues:

Protecting National Lottery players

Protecting players is central to our regulatory mandate. The following are some of the important activities we perform to protect players:

Ensuring that National Lottery draws are fair

Through inspections, reviews, certification and testing:

Monitoring of payments to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF)

We have ensured that the proportion of National Lottery ticket sales that goes to good causes, as well as any other prescribed payments, are transferred from the Operator to the NLDTF in accordance with timelines specified in the Licence.

For the period under review, we verified that the Operator’s payments are complete and accurate.

Monitoring Operator computer gaming systems through Independent Verification Systems (IVS)

The NLC monitors the reliability, security and efficiency of the National Lottery’s central gaming system and network of terminals to ensure that every National Lottery ticket bought is properly recorded and included in the relevant draw.

The system allows the NLC to agree sales figures and prize shares and make certain that the number of winners and prize amounts are accurate after each draw. The system also enables the NLC to confirm that monies due to good causes are correctly determined.

Monitoring of protection and payment of prize winners

During period under review following was monitored and verified:

Protection of the National Lottery Brand and integrity of the National Lottery

We have monitored the National Lottery website and other media to ensure integrity of the National Lottery information displayed therein. We also verified that Trade Marks, Copyright and National Lottery logos properly appear on all National Lottery materials displayed or made available to the public. This is to ensure that players are able to tell the difference between the National Lottery and other gambling products available in the market.

Retailer inspections were regularly conducted to ensure that Retailers comply with regulatory requirements, which include, amongst others, the following:

Monitoring the implementation of Social Responsibility Programme, B-BBEE, Supplier Development initiatives, Localisation and economic empowerment requirements

The Act and Licence Agreement stipulates that the Operator shall initiate and support opportunities for social and economic empowerment, affirmative action, employment equity and representation, training and skills development, promotion of small businesses and job creation, advancement of women in business, as well as winners counselling and financial advice.

The Operator is also required to show commitment to and comply with all B-BBEE legislation and undertake to localise its procurement of goods and services to the extent that it is reasonably possible, without having a detrimental effect on the running of the National Lottery.

The Operator has submitted the required progress reports on the above initiatives and the NLC has verified the information reported.

Complaints about the National Lottery

The NLC has also handled complaints raised in connection with the National Lottery. Complaints are reported to the NLC as escalation after exhausting the Operator’s complaints handling processes. However, the NLC accepts all complaints and forwards to the Operator all those that require to be preliminary handled by it. A follow-up is conducted to ensure that all complaints are adequately handled by the Operator in line with Licence requirements.


Society lotteries

The Act permits Non-profit Organisations (NPOs) to raise funds through lotteries. Interested NPOs are required to register with the NLC. Through our education and awareness initiatives on this opportunity, we have noted an increase in organisations registering as societies. On registration as a society, the society is eligible to submit a lottery scheme to the NLC for registration. The Act allows an NPO to operate up to six schemes in a year raising a maximum of R2 million per scheme.

The Act authorises the NLC to conduct inspections to determine and ensure that society lottery activities are conducted in line with the Act. The summary of society lotteries related activities conducted during the year is indicated below:

Society lotteries  Statistics 
Number of societies registered  13 
Number of schemes registered  65 
Number of exemptions granted  04 
Number of compliance inspections conducted  26 
Number of compliance seminars held  27 

The summary of revenue generated by the 65 schemes licenced by the NLC is reflected below:

Month  Actual proceeds 2017/18
(65 schemes)
Actual  proceeds  2016/17 (49  schemes) (R)
April  1 509 089.85  1 984 658.46 
May  611 700.00  705 125.00 
June  310 170.00  108 230.00 
July  1 795 370.00  613 792.00 
August  44 000.00  818 117.00 
September  591 600.00  1 154 100.00 
October  804 910.00  114 800.00 
November  3 982 545.00  2 562 280.00 
December  214 718.00  3 554 410.10 
January  3 255 138.07  651 976.00 
February  1 524 450.00  405 270.00 
March  5 496 325.00  1 336 113.70 
Total   20 140 015.92   14 008 872.26  

Our focus for the new financial year will be to continue with creating awareness on society lotteries and assisting NPOs who wish to run such schemes in complying with the Act.

Illegal lotteries and schemes

As part of our enforcement mandate, we identified and were informed of various forms of schemes that were advertised requiring public participation. It is only through detailed legal analysis that we were able to ascertain whether or not such schemes were lotteries, and if so, whether they were permitted in terms of the Act or were conducted without prior approval of the Board, which would render them illegal.

Society lotteries that were non-compliant with the Act were identified. These were mainly run by profit-making companies with the assertion made that some of the proceeds from such schemes would benefit NPOs. We were successful in having such schemes declared illegal as they were contrary to the Act. These schemes were subsequently discontinued.

Competitions that were run as promotional competitions, but not in compliance with requirements of the Consumer Protection Act, were also identified as a form of illegal lotteries. Three major companies operating in South Africa had such competitions declared as illegal lotteries and the companies were instructed to discontinue competitions. These are considered to be key achievements for the NLC for the year under review, in delivering on our mandate of monitoring, regulating and enforcing on lotteries. Below is a table summarising the number of investigations conducted for the year:

Illegal lotteries  Statistics 
Number of cases investigated  108 
Number of cases closed  90 

Feasibility study on the regulation of illegal lotteries

Following the research conducted in 2016 to identify and assess the impact of illegal lotteries in South Africa, we conducted a feasibility study to ascertain whether such identified illegal lotteries can be regulated.

The objectives of the study were to:

Findings from the feasibility study are still to be discussed with thedti before making them available to the public.

The NLC participated in the National Gambling Amendment Bill discussions. Our comments were submitted regarding the exclusion of the National Lottery from the definition of a contingency on which bets can be taken, which we support.

The NLC is committed to discharging its regulatory mandate through applying compliance and enforcement principles of transparency in our processes, ensuring confidentiality of information relating to the National Lottery and other lotteries, timely investigation of any illegal schemes, consistency and fairness in the application of the Act and other laws.


© NLC 2018