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Online Lottery for Maharashtra

The Government of Maharashtra is considering transforming its current paper-based lottery system into an online one by April of this year. “North-eastern states are getting good revenue. Online lotteries of other states do good business in Mumbai,” says Vijay Kumar Gautam, principal secretary of planning.

Fake Lottery Arrests in Allahabad

17 people have been arrested in connection with an illegal online lottery business operating from the ‘vjackpot’ website. This site is a fake and The Special Task Force has explained how the gang, led by Akash Jaiswal, operated several other sites in order to maximise the profits, and then manipulated the results after accepting money placed on all the bets. The gang had access to the odds and decided on the winners based on the lowest payouts. This is another lesson in only using reputable sites with a history of fair play and operating practices.

Brand New Game as EuroMillions Hotpicks Launches

With regular prizes of up to £1 million this new game is sure to become a favourite with Indian lottery fans. The first draw is Friday 26th January, with draws every subsequent Tuesday and Friday night. There are 5 games to play on the Euromillions Hotpicks, with wins based on the numbers drawn in the main EuroMillions lottery.

Double Joy for Two UK Lottery Winners

Two unnamed lottery players shared the first jackpot of the year in the UK’s Lotto draw on Saturday 20th January. The two lucky winners will each scoop £8.6 million on the winning numbers 2, 10, 19, 28, 29 and 31. A fantastic way to start the new year!

Current Jackpots Around the World

As the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it, and this weekend’s big jackpots are nothing to ignore. This Saturday’s Super Lotto stands at в‚№22,700,000, and with a 1 in 54 chance of winning a prize, it is well worth considering. The EuroMillions to be drawn on Friday stands at a massive €90 million (£80 million), while the UK’s Lotto draw on Saturday is £5.3 million. Also drawn on Saturday, if you were to win the Irish Lotto jackpot it would fetch you a very tasty €3.5 million. Over in the US, the Powerball jackpot is currently a whopping $112 million!

The Government of Maharashtra is considering transforming its current paper-based lottery system into an online one by April of this year.

Try your luck! Buy lotteries on your mobile phone

Sugal & Damani will roll out its mobile platform (app) ‘Luckykhel’ over the next few days.

Sugal & Damani, a prominent state lotteries distributor, has decided to vend raffle tickets on mobile phones. The company will roll out its mobile platform (app) ‘Luckykhel’ over the next few days.

“No trade can ignore the digital medium. There’ll be 468 million smartphone users by 2021,” says Kamlesh Vijay, group CEO of Sugal & Damani (S&D).

“We’d be able to reach out to more customers via mobile phones. Our costs would go down and we’ll be able to sell lotteries round the clock,” Vijay tells ET in an exclusive interview.

S&D claim to have over 75% market share in online lottery business, over 20,000 point-of-sale terminals across lottery-friendly states and 15 million transactions per day. The company posted a turnover of close to Rs 15,000 crore last fiscal.

“By opening a mobile distribution channel, we’re trying to bring on board many more customers. We’re targeting anybody who is above 18 years of age,” says Vijay.

Edited excerpts

How will app-based lotteries work?
These lotteries would be sold on mobile phones – via a mobile app. We prefer to call them digital lotteries though… You simply have to download the app on your mobile phone and register with us for availing the services. We’ll roll out first on android phones, and later on other platforms. Users can participate (buy lotteries) by linking up their bank accounts or e-wallets. We’ve put in place adequate KYC (know-your-customer) process and other security features as well.

What are your KYC requirements?
Every new user has to register themselves on the platform. They have to submit bank account details (which may also be used for transferring ‘winnings’ or prize money), address and age proof documents.

What type of lotteries would you sell?
To begin with, we’ll have nine different variants of lotteries – lottos, powerball, lucky-4s, magic lottos etc. The price of these tickets could be as low as Rs 2, and can go all the way upto Rs 25. The prize money or winnings could be any sum between a few hundred rupees to over Rs 2.5 crore. Some of our high-priced tickets could also be jackpots… The draws could be on hourly, daily or weekly-basis; tickets of higher denomination may be drawn once a week.

Which state lotteries would you sell via the app?
We’ll start with Goa, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh state lotteries; we’re also trying to get Punjab and Maharashtra on board. Over the next one year, mobile lotteries would account for 5 – 10% of overall lottery sales in India; in 5 years’ time, it could be as high as 40 – 45%.

Many states do not allow sale of lotteries. How will you stop ‘user seepages’ into non-lottery friendly states?
Currently nine states – Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Goa and Kerala – raise funds via sale of lotteries. Of this, only Kerala doesn’t allow marketing of lotteries issued by other state governments. All other eight states allow cross-selling of lotteries. We’ve devised a two-way solution to stop seepages into non-(lottery)-friendly states. Firstly, we’ve installed geo-location blockages on the app; secondly, we do not give participation rights to users residing in non-(lottery)-friendly states. These measure would control seepages.

Would you be able to sell lotteries in overseas markets.
No, RBI doesn’t allow us to do that… Foreign national may register with us, but would be barred from participating.

This can get quite addictive for users…
Not at all. We follow the ‘responsible gaming principles’ set forth by the World Lotteries Association. We’ll not allow under-aged individuals (less than 18 years) to participate. We’ll also put in place a monitoring system to warn / block compulsive lottery-buyers.

What will happen to the 7 lakh physical lottery-sellers who vend tickets for a living?
Physical lotteries would continue unabated…. From a distributors point of view, we need digital presence; but paper lotteries will continue to be an important distribution route for us. A mobile outlet would help us popularise lotteries among people. It will also give a leg up to physical lotteries.

How are lotteries helping state governments?
Lotteries are a Rs 50,000-crore business in India. In 2017-18, the nine “lottery-friendly” states collected close to Rs 3950 crore as GST (on lottery sales). As per current GST structure, interstate sale of lotteries attracts 28% tax while intrastate sales come under the 12% bracket. That aside, by selling lotteries, these states collected close to Rs 1853 crore. That’s a whopping Rs 5800 crore in net collections… Lottery is a good way to augment governmental revenues. The money that comes in, can be used to run various social welfare programmes such as Ayushman Bharat or ‘education-for-all.’ If more states decide to float lottery schemes, we’ll be able to raise at least Rs 50,000 crore. Countries such as China and UK use lotteries to run their social welfare programmes.

Sugal & Damani will roll out its mobile platform (app) ‘Luckykhel over the next few days. ]]>