PM requests reports on Vietlott business

The Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has just asked the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to report on the business operations of Vietnam Lottery Company (Vietlott) which is facing complaints from localities.

The Office of the Government on December 5 sent a document transmitting the PM’s direction on Vietlott’s business performance. Accordingly, the PM has requested the MoF to report in detail on the company’s business operations whether it has been influencing the traditional lottery or not as recently reflected by a number of localities.

Although the MoF earlier confirmed that Vietlott’s activities would not affect the traditional lottery’s operation, many provinces did not concur.

pm requests reports on vietlott business hinh 0

For fear that the infrastructure investment in the provinces will be affected by falling traditional lottery revenue, localities have proposed to the MoF to promptly reorganize some irregular business activities by Vietlott.

Since its launch in July, the 6/45 Mega lottery, an American Lotto-style game with a minimum jackpot of VND12 billion (US$545,000) has immediately attracted the attention of many people. Being different from other types of lottery, the Mega 6/45 lottery has a jackpot prize that is continuously accumulated until there is a winner.

After having been on the market for more than four months, Vietlott’s total revenue has reached the milestone of VND1 trillion (over US$44 million).

The Southern Lottery Council last month accused Vietlott of many violations. The council petitioned the MoF to deal with Vietlott’s alleged irregularities to make sure the firm competes fairly with the 21 lottery companies in the south.

The council claimed that lottery agents in Ho Chi Minh City print tickets for distribution in southern provinces where Vietlott has no agents. This has been causing revenue losses for provincial budgets and also violates regulations. Vendors sell print tickets at prices higher than VND10,000 (US$0.45) each at agents causing unfair competition.

Moreover, selling print tickets does not reflect the nature of the American-style lottery game that allows buyers to select numbers as they wish.

In addition, the advertising and promotion of the product are unclear in terms of content, according to the council. Notably, Vietlott has said that the computerized lottery game would replace the traditional one in the coming time and that the traditional lottery game would be put under review with tickets to be issued once or twice a week. The council has denounced this information from Vietlott.

Mr. Nguyen Hoang Duong, Deputy Director of the MoF's Department of Banking and Financial Institutions, has told Vietlott to check and make sure its operations and those of its agents are in line with the current regulations.

In a document sent to the Southern Lottery Council, Vietlott’s General Director Tong Quoc Truong said his company had told its agents to strictly observe regulations on the computerized lottery game.

A leader of a lottery firm in the south said sales of traditional lottery tickets have declined as Vietlott tickets can be found almost everywhere even though its operations are only in a couple of southern cities and provinces.

According to the plan, after launching in Hanoi on December 5, Vietlott will also continue to expand its computerized lottery business to Haiphong and Quang Ninh bringing the total number of business areas to 12 cities and provinces.

VN Economic Times

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