Two new government-run lotteries will be launched this year in a fresh bid to stamp out illegal lotteries and overpriced tickets, Charnkrit Dejvitak, an assistant to the PM’s Office, revealed on Tuesday.
Mr Charnkrit said the first would be a new reworking of the pre-existing, six-digit government lottery, while the second will comprise two- and three-digit lotteries, similar to the unsanctioned lotteries featuring the same number of digits.
He spoke in his capacity as chairman of a sub-committee tasked with exploring ways to cope with the problem of lottery tickets being sold above the officially mandated price.
The government is now trying to secure a contract with Khon Kaen University to organise public hearings on the new lottery products, a process required before the plan can be forwarded to the cabinet for consideration, he said.
Mr Charnkrit said the new lotteries would conform to existing laws and access to young people would be tightly controlled.
Ticket sales will also be prohibited on school grounds, he added.
The administration under former premier Thaksin Shinawatra launched a similar two and three-digit lottery but the project was later terminated after it was found to be in contravention of the law.
The revenue it generated was supposed to be distributed among the government, lottery winners and the Government Lottery Office (GPO) but it was disbursed illegally.
Commenting on the newly launched digital lottery tickets sold via the government’s Paotang e-wallet mobile application, Mr Charnkrit said the number of tickets will not be increased at least for the next two draws on June 16 and July 1.
The e-tickets proved a runaway success with around 5 million sold within the first four days of their launch last Thursday.
More assessments are needed before the lottery quota allocated to the mobile app can be increased, Mr Charnkrit said, adding that the initial excitement about the digital lottery could prove to be a passing fad.
Suchinda Sunon, 66, a lottery ticket vendor in Khon Kaen’s Muang district, said the digital tickets have not boosted her income as most of her customers are elderly people who are not familiar with using smartphone or making purchases online.