MP submits motion to hike state lottery jackpots by 10 per cent

By Aung Naing, Aye Aye Thant, Mi Mi Phyo (MNA)

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A potential buyer peruses numbers at a sidewalk stand in Yangon selling tickets for the state lottery yesterday. Photo: Phoe Khwar

At the 12th day meeting of the 2nd Pyithu Hluttaw 4th regular session yesterday, U Win Aung, parliamentarian of Momauk constituency put forward a motion urging the Union Government that out of 40 per cent of the sale of lottery tickets, 10 per cent should be added to the winning prizes, that is, only 30 per cent of the sale of lottery tickets should be collected as state revenue, with four Hluttaw representatives seconding the motion.
Dr Daw Kyi Moe Moe Lwin of Singaing constituency was one of the seconding representatives.
“State revenue collected from the annual sale of state lottery tickets amounts to Ks28 billion, with the amount of annual sales amounting to Ks60 billion, equivalent to US$0.05 billion. It is learnt that the sale amount of the lottery in a year in Thailand, which has a similar population to Myanmar, amounted to 76 billion Thai baht, equivalent to US$2.3 billion. As regards the state lottery in Myanmar and Thailand, there is no difference in state revenue, as the 60 per cent is distributed to winners and 40 per cent is collected as revenue. It was found that a significant percentage of the Thai population played the state lottery. On analysis of the situation, 19.2 million out of 67 million of Thailand’s population tried their luck at the state lottery. It can be assumed that one in three Thai nationals tried their luck at the lottery.
It is learnt that Thai nationals think of the state lottery as dream that can solve many financial problems. We should imitate the lottery system, which attracts a larger percentage of the people. The Thai government seemed to endorse the lottery. It was found that arrangements are being made to extend the lottery market of Thailand and to amend the existing laws for implementing the E-lottery system. On studying the history of the Myanmar lottery, U Po Hlaing, Yaw Atwinwun introduced the lottery system in 1878, in the reign of King Thibaw by copying the French lottery. In 1880, it stopped due to various reasons. But it restarted again in 1938. Concerning reforms of the system, there were only small changes of raising lottery prices, changing amounts of highest and lowest prizes and increasing and decreasing amounts of lottery tickets’ alphabets preceding the lottery numbers from 1938 to 2017. Nothing special was found about changes of lottery system. Hence, in implementing changes that can attract people, people’s wishes and voices should be listened. In the period of organising people to get accustomed to the culture of paying tax, only taxes which will make a burden to the people should be reduced, with successful implementation of business such as state lottery possible to catch more taxes. If people can be actually attracted, it will help eradicate illegal gambling and simultaneously it will be able to stand as powerful economic industry as it can make the nation’s income increase too much.”
U Tin Ko Ko Oo of Bilin constituency suggested: “The topic we are discussing is 10 per cent tax of the lottery sale. Generally, the presently discussed 10 per cent tax goes to bridges, hospitals and schools, as it is the tax collected by the State. The motion presenter had a desire to improve the socio-economic lives of the people who tried their luck at lottery, the actual price of a ticket is not the fixed price of 200 kyats, instead costing Ks300 and above. A lottery winner will get 60 per cent as the capital, with the remaining 40 per cent to be received by the State for bridges and roads. Presently, we are feeling that unidentified persons are enjoying 50 per cent. It made us think whether it is a test of one’s luck or one’s acumen, concurrently whether it is being tested of one’s acumen or practising bribery and corruption. It is urgently needed to reassess whether law is dilapidated or implementation is weak. In the period of spending 100 per cent by sharing between the State and people, above-said 50 per cent went in vain, destroying the trust to the government from the people. This made poor management clear. As for me, it made me think as to which losses will occur to us as in 200 kyat-lottery if 500 kyat-lottery is introduced. The Ministry should extend the official lottery with good intentions for alleviating gambling.”
Over the motion, U Myint Lwin of Twantay constituency and U Myint Lwin of Pazundaung constituency made suggestions respectively.
U Maung Maung Win, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance replied to the motion, submitted to the Hluttaw to put it in record.
Speaker of the Hluttaw, announced to put it in record with the approval of the Hluttaw.
Afterward, discussion of Hluttaw representatives according to paragraph or sub-paragraph, over revised motion concerning the bill of repatriating culprits, submitted by the ministry of home affairs; submission for approval and getting the decision of the Hluttaw were made.—Myanmar News Agency

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