South Africa auditor general criticises lottery finances

Some mistakes date back to 2017.
Some mistakes date back to 2017.

The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) annual report flags R23m in irregular expenditure and R36m in accounting errors.

South Africa.- The auditor general’s report on South Africa’s National Lotteries Commission for the 2020/21 financial year has flagged up more than R23m in irregular expenditure, leading to a qualified audit opinion about the accuracy of financial statements.

Local media have reported that the auditor “made payments in contravention of the supply chain management requirements, resulting in irregular expenditure of R23,410,550”. The auditor added that the NLC had procured goods and services “without obtaining the required price quotations” and “without inviting competitive bids and/or deviations”.

The AG report states: “The accounting authority did not effectively oversee financial reporting and compliance with legislation as well as related internal controls. Also, management did not adequately review and monitor financial reporting requirements as well as compliance with applicable legislation.”

Notes to the financial statements include lists of “prior period errors” that were incorrectly accounted for in previous years but discovered in the current financial year. They include R4.3m in accruals mistakenly not accounted for, and R1m in accruals mistakenly included in the 2019/20 financial year. Some R9.6m in withdrawals were not accounted for between 2017 and 2020.

Minister of trade and industry Ebrahim Patel said that the auditor general had “identified a number of internal controls and compliance deficiencies that the accounting authority did not effectively oversee relating to financial reporting and compliance with legislation” and that they “must be addressed by the board on an urgent basis”.

Metropolitan Gaming sells South African casino

Metropolitan Gaming has reached an agreement to sell its South African casino to a consortium controlled by Tsogo Sun. The operator bought the Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark from Caesars Entertainment in August 2021 along with 10 venues in the UK and Egypt.

The company said it was focusing on investing and developing in its core markets of the UK and Egypt. After buying 11 casinos from Caesars in 2021, the company added London’s Park Lane Club, now the Metropolitan Park Lane, to its portfolio this June. The company said it intends to continue to expand through acquisitions and investment.

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