Pattaya Daily News

29 September 2012 :: 16:09:14 pm 67027

Finance Ministry Wants Lottery Vending Machines By 2013

A scrapped plan to install lottery vending machines nationwide has been revived and received tentative government approval. The machines would sell tickets with 2 and 3-digit end numbers that could also be bought online. The machines could be operating by next year, if all goes according to plan.
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At a September 24 meeting of the government lottery board, the decision was made to go ahead with the lottery vending machine project, said Mr. Thanusak Lek-uthai, the deputy minister of the Finance Ministry.

He described the new project as a “lottery with automated machines (cabinet lottery).” With the government’s approval, any progress on the project from now on would be the responsibility of the Government Lottery Office, which will continue negotiating with the contractors, Mr. Thanusak said.

The former contractor for the project was Loxley G Tech Technology Co., Ltd. (LGT). The project was first proposed in 2007 by the administration of former prime minister Thaksin Sinawatra. However, the idea was later scrapped in 2010, because of the fear of social problems resulting from increased gambling.

Since the 2007 original plans are now outdated, new information would be reconsidered, along with any improvements in machine technology. Mr. Thanusak intends to file a motion with the Cabinet to approve having the lottery machines operating by early 2013.

“We are trying to ask the Cabinet to get behind the project this year to sell in the early year 2013,” he said. “We wanted it to be a new year’s gift to the people.”

To reduce the price of lotteries, the “cabinet lotto” will issue tickets with just 2 and 3 end numbers only, in order not to overlap with the 6 numbers in the lottery tickets, said Mr.Tanusak. The finance minister also does not want the new machines to be described as an “online lottery,” which falsely implies that the lottery tickets can be bought anywhere through the internet.

Mr. Thanusak instead wants the new vending machine lottery to be called “cabinet lotto,” because “there would be appropriate management, it won’t sell tickets to children, it won’t be near temples and schools, and there will be exact times to sell tickets,” he said. “Whoever wants to buy tickets would have to come to the vending machines, and cannot just key the lotto numbers on their home computers.”

The Government Lottery Offices will install several thousand vending machines, and possibly tens of thousands. The payout reward would be inversely varied to the numbers of winners. The jackpot reward would be as the same, and it would be rewarded inversely varied by the number of winners, in following the government lottery code of 1974.

Mr. Thanusak predicted that the revenue from the cabinet lottery should more than double the income that the government receives from the lottery, from 500-600 million baht every two weeks, to 2.4 billion baht.

The cabinet lotto machines also would rake in revenue when the ASEAN economic community agreements kick off in 2015. The target goal is for 10 times the current funding, from 60 million to 600 million notes, Mr. Thanusak said. “The increasing numbers of lotteries will not be a bad influence in the country, because we will focus on the international market.”

Pol. Maj .Gen Atthakrit Thareechat, the director of the Government Lottery Office, said one proposal is to increase the number of jackpots, which would have a chain effect and sell more tickets, generating more revenue. However, the board will study the potential effects of such a strategy before filing any new proposals.

However, installing a cabinet lottery could be a way to reducing the price of the lottery, while also increasing funding to the government, he said. Research by Chulalongkorn University has identified that there is about 300 billion baht in gambling money circulating around Thailand, but the government is not getting anything from it. But with the cabinet lotto machines, the government may get some of that circulating gambling money, he said.

Category : Thailand News

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