Thailand to launch two new lotteries following overpricing scandal

Thailand lottery
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Two new government-run lotteries are set to be introduced in Thailand this year in a crackdown on overpriced tickets and illegal lotteries, according to the Bangkok Post.

The local outlet reported that Charnkrit Dejvitak, an assistant to the Prime Minister’s Office, has stated that the first will 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.

The new lotteries are being designed to conform to existing laws and there is a strong emphasis on controlling the level of access afforded to young people, with ticket sales prohibited on school grounds.

Recent years have seen a surge in the number of illegal lotteries and overpriced tickets – in October 2021, three men were arrested on charges of operating illicit sales of government lottery tickets.

Meanwhile, in March this year, the Bluedragon Lottery was raided and two million tickets seized in relation to overpricing allegations, before the company was cleared in May.

Despite Bluedragon’s innocence, concerns remain over the state of play of lotteries in Thailand, particularly with regards to the overpricing of tickets.

According to Dejvitak, the Thai government is attempting to secure a contract with Khon Kaen University to organise public hearings on the new lottery products, which is required before the scheme can be forwarded to the cabinet for consideration.

Additionally, commenting on the newly launched digital lottery tickets sold via the government’s Paotang e-wallet mobile application, Dejvitak 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 sold approximately five million within the first four days of their launch last Thursday.

However, Dejvitak claims more assessments are needed before the lottery quota allocated to the mobile app can be increased.

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 smartphones or making purchases online.