Lottery postponements to hit state coffers

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Postponing the state lottery will not only affect the incomes of large and small traders, but also the government who will lose out on remittances from the Government Lottery Office (GLO).

As of April 17, the government has already postponed the lottery twice in view of the coronavirus situation.

Those who had bought tickets for the scheduled April 16 lottery will receive a refund.

The loss to the state exchequer from the cancellation of the lotteries is estimated at around Bt5.3 billion.

Pol.Col. Boonsong Jantrisri, director-general at the GLO, explained that two postponements of lotteries would affect government revenue, because 23 per cent of its revenue from ticket sales, amounting to Bt3.56 billion, would have been remitted to the government.

In 2019, the state enterprise that delivered the most revenue to government was GLO with a total of Bt41.916 billion, compared to PTT, which ranked second at Bt12.718 billion.

Experts worry about the impact on the exchequer as government revenue is also expected to drop from other state-owned enterprises that have responded to the government’s policy to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19. The Provincial Electricity Authority and Metropolitan Electricity Authority, for instance, have cut electricity bills for every household by 3 per cent and even waived payment of electricity bills.

The GLO gets revenue from five channels: sale of lottery tickets after deducting dealer discounts; charity lottery proceeds after deducting dealer discounts; printing work; interest; rental.

In 2019, the GLO generated Bt174.8 billion from sale of lottery tickets and charity lottery. After adjusting dealer discounts and adding revenue from other sources, such as printing, GLO had total revenue of Bt154 billion.