News

Lotteries Board against going online

By Pamodi Waravita

 

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has refused to implement a purely online sales system as recently proposed by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), as it would make approximately 20,000 ticket sellers and agents redundant.

According to NLB Chairman Lalith Perera, the COPE committee had recently suggested moving to an online selling system, considering the growth of the online lottery ticket markets in other countries.

Perera stated that from the population of buyers who are able to buy lotteries, currently only 21% do so. The NLB has proposed that an online lottery selling market should focus on targeting buyers outside of that 21% to ensure the current market is not affected.

“Although the NLB agrees that the eventuality of an online lottery ticket selling system is inevitable, the livelihood of the current sellers must not be harmed,” Perera said.

When asked for confirmation on whether the COPE committee had proposed a purely online sales system as told to us by the NLB Chairman, COPE Chairman Dr. Charitha Herath said the committee had changed its stance.

“Although I think this was our initial proposal, we later agreed with the NLB that current sellers must be protected. So we are thinking of moving forward with the kind of system proposed by the NLB.”

There are currently 18,000 sellers and 3,000 agents of lottery tickets and NLB Chairman Perera said that a majority of sellers are unable to engage in alternative income-generating activities due to reasons such as disabilities.

Considering these factors, Perera mentioned that moving forward, a balance must be maintained with the current system.