PM warns of lottery suspension

PM warns of lottery suspension

The sale of lottery tickets will be suspended if the problem of overpriced tickets continues unabated, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says.

The faulty lottery ticket distribution system, blamed for the overpriced tickets, needs to be overhauled, he said during his weekly broadcast yesterday.

People can do their part by not buying overpriced tickets, Gen Prayut added.

"The government will ensure that lottery tickets are sold at the price written on the tickets. If the ticket says 80 baht, then it must be sold at 80 baht. The whole system will be restructured. It must start with the Government Lottery Office [GLO]," the premier said.

Ticket quotas will be restructured so ticket distribution quotas are redistributed more fairly, he said.

Many people who receive quotas do not sell the tickets to the public, but sell them to other sellers. Sometimes, these tickets are sold in bulk. The market is dominated by groups of people who buy and resell the tickets, he said.

Gen Prayut maintained that from next month, retail lottery sellers can receive their quotas directly from the GLO in Bangkok or from provincial offices.

He vowed to stamp out the deep-rooted irregularities in lottery distribution chains.

"I will not give up until the problem is resolved," the prime minister said. 

There will be a clear picture as to how many tickets a retailer can be allocated. Because some retailers resell their tickets to other sellers it results in the public having to purchase tickets at a much higher price than what is written on the tickets, he said.

Prices increase every time tickets are resold. The price goes from 70 to 80 and finally 90 and the burden is put on the end buyers. The government has already cut the price of tickets sold by the GLO, Gen Prayut said.

The state currently gets a cut of about 20%, down from 28% from the tickets.

The prime minister said the government is trying to find the right balance between making money from the lottery and keeping the system fair and free of corruption.

"If everyone is honest, the tickets can surely be sold at 80 baht apiece," Gen Prayut said.

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