Lottery comes of age
March 11, 2005
Lottery comes of age

Traditionally in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the age of 21 is referred to as the coming of maturity. Many a youngster would recall the subtle battles encountered if he happened to attain that age under parental accommodation.

He normally heard that threat that ‘two man can’t live in the same house,’ or in proverbial reference ‘two man rat can’t live in one hole.{{more}}

The message was that the child, now at manhood had to have his own home if he were to truly consider himself to have grown up.

That is the situation with the National Lotteries Authority. For fittingly, they have moved into their own home before the age of 21.

The National Lotteries Authority was launched June 18, 1984, and has seen tremendous transformation in shape, form and substance.

Thousands of Vincentians have benefited from the National Lotteries Authority in many ways. And it has become a veritable industry, the envy of many sister institutions region wide. With revenue of over $21 million last year, propped up by the ‘very popular’ 3D game, the NLA is provider of facilities, and many citizens have seen alterations in their lives as a result of the NLA.

Like true adults, the National Lotteries Authority is adjusting to the manhood with their spacious new headquarters.

The accomplishment was marked with a prestigious ceremony on the new compound last Saturday. It must have been emotional for manager McGregor Sealey. He has been with the body from its inception.

The settling period has been deliberate and consistent, in the way the NLA has carved out its reputation over the years.

The spacious new facilities come as a tremendous boost to the staff and patrons. The modern facilities which adorn the new structure is worth over $3 million, and has transformed that portion of Kingstown, formerly dismissed as the “Slum’.

Manager Sealey was happy to refer to late calypsonian Lloyd ‘Caribbean Hawk’ Providence’s 1973 song on the topic “Right in the Slum.’

The manager sought to highlight some positive aspects of the area, and note worthy persons and institutions of value coming from Paul’s Avenue.

Hawk’s version would have to be remixed to accommodate today’s adjustments, and the National Lotteries Authority has certainly made a significant impact to the Paul’s Avenue area.

The price of property has gone up astronomically, owing to the new construction, which has over taken the zone. The headquarters with all its trimmings has enhanced the area, and Lotteries’ input has been phenomenal. In addition to the new headquarters, the George McIntosh Community Market, obliquely alongside the headquarters compound, is another direct testimony of the NLA handiwork.

And a number of residents have themselves reconstructed buildings and upgraded the standard of life with earnings from the Lottery.

The development has increased business activity in the area, as manifested in the first day’s transactions at the Headquarters’ new location without much fanfare, and that degree of intensity will undoubtedly spill over to the entire community.