Sportlotto employees in criminal probe
Five Sportslotto employees are the subject of a criminal probe into allegations its employees illegally manipulated lottery products sold by the company, the Samoa Observer can reveal.
The Ministry of Police are investigating claims that employees of Sportslotto, which has the rights to resell tickets in Australian lotteries in Samoa such as Powerball, manipulated the lottery system to con consumers by selling them tickets with no chance of winning.
The Minister of Police, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, confirmed the probe in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
It is understood five employees are the subject of the criminal investigation.
Last week the company filed a Police complaint against a former employee who used Facebook to make allegations that Sportslotto was manipulating products provided by its Australian distributor T.M.S. Global Services.
The employee made allegations that the company was selling customers tickets that were never entered into official lottery draws, giving purchasers of tickets no chance of winning.
But the company said that the comments - made on social media - were entirely false and made by a disgruntled former employee who did not work with T.M.S.- related products. It said the integrity of its products was assured by Australian company Tatts Australia.
Tialavea told the Samoa Observer the investigation is “underway” but declined to further comment on the matter.
The Samoa National Lotto which is also known as and trades as Samoa Sports Lotto is a Government-owned entity
Questions sent to company Chief Executive Officer, Tuala Tamaalelagi Siaki, on Saturday and on Monday, were not responded to.
Matt Hart, a spokesman for the Australian gambling giant Tabcorp, which owns Tattslotto and a number of other gambling company subsidiaries, confirmed it had been made aware of “certain allegations” involving Sportslotto Samoa.
Mr. Hart confirmed that the company’s subsidiary, T.M.S. Global, had launched its own investigation into the matter but declined to comment further.
On Tuesday Mr. Hart declined to comment on the new developments.
Police are understood to have interviewed witnesses to the alleged behaviour in the case on Tuesday.