A lottery vendor is seen with price tags of 100 baht per government lottery ticket in Bangkok’s Pathumwan district on June 12. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
A series of hearings will be held next month to gauge public opinion on the government’s plan to launch its own triple-digit raffle, which it says is part of a bid to bring down average ticket prices of lottery.
The auditions will be conducted in accordance with the guidelines set by Khon Kaen University, according to the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Charnkit Dechavitak.
Mr Charnkrit, who chairs a sub-committee investigating ways to lower the price of lottery tickets, said more details of the triple-digit online lottery will be released next month, ahead of scheduled hearings .
Hearings will be held online and offline. On-site hearings are expected to take place in a major province in each region, although the final location and timings have yet to be finalized, he said.
The three-digit draw plan will be submitted to the Government Lottery Office (GLO) Board, who will then forward it to the cabinet via the Department of Finance.
The deputy minister said the government’s efforts to curb the overpricing of lottery tickets had been welcomed, saying the goal of keeping ticket prices at 80 baht each was achievable.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, citing the results of the latest Super Poll, said the majority of respondents – 79% – were happy with the government’s decision to offer lottery tickets online.
Paper tickets were often sold at above-market prices, with tickets featuring auspicious numbers often costing upwards of 100 baht each.
Ticket sellers, who were the first to be blamed for the high prices of lottery tickets, said they were merely passing on the markups from the agents who sold the tickets to them in bulk.
Offering tickets through authorized online channels has allowed the government to keep prices within the legal limit.
Last week, the GLO approved the sale of an additional two million electronic lottery tickets. A total of seven million tickets will be available on the Pao Tang mobile app for the August 1 draw.
The GLO said it will make more tickets available online this year, with 20 million tickets gradually entering the system by the end of the year.
That said, the agency will continue to offer paper tickets, which will be sold at 80 baht per ticket at designated booths across the country. The government aims to set up 1,077 stalls by the end of August and at least 2,000 by the end of the year. The majority will be located at PTT and Bangchak gas stations.
The GLO is currently accepting applications and inquiries from those interested in becoming a licensed lottery ticket seller. Some 70,000 of an expected 300,000 applications will be shortlisted, with results expected next month.
Mr Charnkrit said the selection will be fair, transparent and free from cronyism. Only applications from people who are genuinely qualified and independent of big traders will be considered, he said.