Online lottery system fails to attract interest in Punjab

  • PTI, Chandigarh
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2013 18:13 IST

The Punjab government's move to launch online lottery system has failed to yield desired results, with lottery companies staying away from the bidding process citing "tough" conditions set by the state government.

Though the lottery operators are enthused about revenue potential from online lottery system, yet they have sought from the state government to relax conditions pertaining to license fee and bid processing charges if it wants a successful launch of online lotteries in the state.

"Lottery operators have not participated in the bidding process for online lottery system as proposed by Punjab government because the state government has fixed some tough conditions to operate for us," Lottery major Sugal & Damani, Manager, Roop Singh told PTI here.

The state government in May this year had proposed to launch online lottery system in the state with state lotteries department expecting Rs 200 crore of revenue from it.

Despite extending the last date from July 29 to August 6 by the state lotteries department, no bidder submitted bid for the same.

"There has not been any submission of bid for online lottery system," official sources in the state lottery department said.

Lottery operators pointed out that the state government had kept the fixed license fee "abnormally" high which was not payable by any lottery operator.

"Rs 200 crore is license fee in the first year and which reaches to a level of Rs 550 crore in the fifth year. This is a huge amount and it is not feasible for us to pay," said Singh.

"The government should have kept licensee fee at Rs 100 crore and gradually it should be raised," he said.

The lottery operators are also worried at payment of variable fee component at 5 per cent of gross sales in addition to fixed license fee.

"Moreover, the state government will deduct TDS on our commission to be paid by the state government which is also not acceptable to us," he said.

Lottery companies are also not happy with the condition that state government would retain bid processing charges to the tune of Rs 20 lakh for each bid.

Representatives of three lottery companies, including Sugal & Damani, Tashi Delak and Martin, had raised this matter with officials of Punjab Lotteries department on July 22 at bidders' conference.

Lottery companies said Punjab has immense potential for online lottery system as it can generate revenue of Rs 100-150 crore per annum.

Currently, online lottery of several states, including Goa, West Bengal, Sikkim, is operational.

 

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