Some people think of lotteries as a necessary evil, but the game of chance has benefited many as it is a big employment generator.
About 20 lakh people are directly or indirectly associated with the lottery business promoted by the 13 states that have not banned it.
The countrywide turnover is around Rs 50,000 crore per annum. More than 20 crore lottery tickets are sold daily, online or in paper form.
With online and intranet-based lotteries gaining popularity, paper lotteries are on the decline and constitute only 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the total business in the country.
Governed by a central act, all forms of lotteries are promoted and controlled solely by state governments.
"Since lotteries are conducted by state governments, draws are transparent and leave no scope for manipulation," said Usman Fayaz, President of All-India Lottery Federation and Allied Industries.
Fayaz is also chief executive officer of Martin Lottery System, the biggest player controlling over 60 per cent of the business.
State governments float tenders with several lottery wholesalers participating in the bidding and the contract is allotted to the highest bidder, who becomes the lottery's bulk agent.
In online lottery, about 60 per cent of the revenue generated from ticket sales is given out while the rest is used for infrastructure and payouts.
In the conventional version, almost 90 per cent of the collection is distributed as prize money.
The big players in the game include Martin Lottery System, Sugal & Damani, MV Marketing, Apollo International, Play Win, Forbes infotainment, Videocon, Modi, MF Associates and Golden Agency and they have a well laid-out distribution network.