Tue, August 16, 2022

in-focus

GLO hires university to study brand-new 3-digit lottery system


The Government Lottery Office (GLO) has called on a university to study the concept and eventual launch of a new “three-digit” lottery, a government official said on Monday.

Chankit Detwithak, an assistant to the PM’s Office minister who chairs a panel on solving overpriced lottery tickets, said GLO signed a contract with Khon Kaen University on June 17 to study the three-digit lottery idea.

He said the university is now in the process of drafting a plan to hold public hearings before details of the new lottery system are made public early next month.

Charnkit said once the details are announced, the university will collect public opinions via its website and also hold public hearings in key provinces.

He reckons the new lottery plan should be wrapped up by September and the final proposal handed to the GLO board of directors for endorsement before it is sent to the Finance Ministry to pass on to the Cabinet.

Charnkit said the new three-digit lottery system will be a brand new product and not involve betting on three numbers like in the past.

The Thaksin Shinawatra government had in 2003 launched a two- and three-digit lottery system based on the main lottery draw. The aim was to compete against underground lottery, which was popular among buyers and generated huge profits for sellers.

However, this lottery system was dropped in 2009 when the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office ruled against ex-deputy finance minister Warathep Rattanakorn, former Finance Ministry’s permanent secretary Somchainuek Engtrakul and ex-GLO director Chaiwat Pasokphakdee for unlawfully approving the system.

On June 6, 2019, the same court sentenced former PM Thaksin to two years in jail for unlawfully issuing two- and three-digit lotteries in much the same way as the underground system. The court said this lottery system would get people addicted to gambling.

Charnkit, however, said the new three-digit lottery will be very different from the one in Thaksin’s time.

“I emphasise that it will be a new product. It won’t be like the two- and three-digit lottery in the past because that is against the law,” he said. “The new three-digit lottery will be issued in a new format and new method.”

Charnkit added that his panel was on the right track when it comes to tackling the overpricing of lottery tickets by issuing special digital versions that can be sold via the Paotang application.

Since this digital version has proved to be popular, with tickets being snapped up in a matter of hours, GLO will add another 2 million tickets for the August 1 draw, he said. This means there will be 7.1 million lottery tickets up for grabs on the Paotang app from June 17.

He said the number of tickets will be increased by 2 million per draw until the total number hits 20 million within this year.

Separately, GLO has decided to retain 754 outlets across the country where buyers can physically purchase a lottery ticket for 80 baht. Charnkit added that GLO is also planning to open 2,000 digital lottery selling points at PTT and Bangchak petrol stations nationwide.

Published : June 27, 2022

By : THE NATION