The Kerala government is planning to launch an online
lottery of its own after witnessing the success of similar
lotteries sponsored by other state governments in the
Finance Minister K Sankaranarayanan says a high-powered
committee headed by the principal secretary (finance)
has been constituted to study details of the proposed
online lottery scheme.
that the popularity of online lotteries has made a dent
in the sales of Kerala governments conventional
paper lottery, the minister says the introduction of the
online lottery can counter this development and help to
mop up more revenue.
source in the Kerala lottery department says the department
has received two draft proposals for the online lottery,
out of which only one project was found feasible.
proposal that was found feasible envisages an initial
investment of Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million) and an annual
turnover of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in the first year
of operation, he adds.
Kerala State Lotteries (KSL), launched in 1967, is one
of the few profitable ventures of the state government.
But the proliferation of online lotteries in Kerala has
adversely affected the business of KSL.
Kerala cannot afford to sit back and let all business
flow outside, says KSL director P K Vijayan. Since the
introduction of various online lotteries, traditional
paper lottery ticket sales plunged by more than 20 per
cent in the state, adds Kerala Lottery Agents Association
president Purushottama Bharathi.
lottery buyers are gradually moving from paper lotteries
to online lotteries. As a result, more than 35,000 recognised
lottery agents and 2.5 lakh (250,000) lottery vendors
in Kerala are feeling the pinch. Moreover, the printing
of Kerala government lottery tickets has also gone down,
that huge prize money, absolute transparency and reasonably
prized tickets are the primary reasons for this shift,
Bharathi says his association has been demanding the introduction
of online lottery in the state for more than six months
the highest prize money awarded by Keralas conventional
paper lottery on tickets worth Rs 10 and Rs 20 are Rs
20 lakh and Rs 50 lakh (Rs 2-5 million), respectively.
In contrast, the prize money won by individual online
lottery buyers runs into millions of rupees.