RE: Criticisms levelled at the Samoa Sports Lotto in editorial by Marj Moore on the 16th October 2017
I write to correct the misleading and unfounded criticisms levelled against the Samoa National Lotto, also called Samoa Sports Lotto in the Samoa Observer editorial by Marj Moore on the 16th October 2017.
Firstly, the Samoa National Lotto which is also known as and trades as Samoa Sports Lotto was never owned by an Australian entity and there was never any fixed allocation to sports.
It has always been a Government owned entity and exists without any subsidies or financial assistance from Government or taxpayers; its accounts are audited annually and presented to Parliament.
Recipients of financial assistance from SNL/Samoa Sports Lotto through the TAB are diverse and varied and not limited to Sporting Bodies.
If the writer had bothered to check with us or with any of the numerous sporting bodies, Charities, Associations etc, that we have provided financial assistance to over the years (and as featured regularly and prominently in your paper as well as on TV) she could have confirmed that our funding process is governed by strict criteria which applicants have to meet to qualify for financial assistance.
These are to ensure that the applicant associations/sporting bodies etc are legally incorporated and registered, are active, well governed and financially solvent. Qualification for assistance is not based on “who you know” as stated. She is free to confirm from some of our successful recipients, these criteria.
The full list of recipients is too long to list in its entirety here, but includes most sports in the country from Athletics to lawn bowls as well as educational grants and assistance to charities.
In the last 7 years alone, Samoa Sports Lotto/TAB has donated approximately $2 million tala to sports, directly and through sponsorships as well as funding the Samoa Sports Bonus financial incentive awards for our athletes for Gold medal performances in international competition.
The Samoa Observer issue of October 26th highlighted a donation of $100,000 made by us to the Samoa Rugby Union as one example of our support for sports.
We thank our loyal customers for making this possible. We request that you publish this to correct the errors in the said editorial.
Siaki Tuala 11
Chief Executive Officer
Gambling Control Authority
TAB & Samoa Sports Lottery
Marj’s response: Tuala you were not in charge of Samoa Sports Lotto and perhaps were not even around before the Government took over the present entity, which I repeat, was originally set up to fund sports. I was informed by an official of a sporting body at the time, that they were told “Just write a letter (for funding) and I’ll make sure it goes through” - and it did. So let’s agree to disagree on whether grant success can be based on ‘who you know’ - hopefully that has changed.