Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 28. Cash-strapped Punjab Government today decided to bet on online lottery to boost its revenue with the state Cabinet giving its approval to recommence the online lottery system.
The online lottery system was initiated in the state in 2002 but was discontinued after a few years. Now it is set to start again with a few cosmetic changes. Sources said under the new system, the results would be released in four digits. While three digits would be the same, the final digit would count when prizes were given, they said.
This is the same as the single-digit lottery system, which has been criticised and even banned in some states for ruining thousands of people, said Lokesh Arora, a lottery agent of Rajpura who at one time operated 108 computers to run online lotteries.
An official release said the Cabinet had approved the online lottery system to increase the revenue of the state. It said the system would be organised, conducted, operated and regulated under the provisions of the Lottery Regulation Act, 1998 and the Punjab State Lotteries Rules, 1998.
The new system is envisaged to offer lottery games played through a network of computer terminals as approved by the government. The terminals will be installed at retail locations and will be connected to a data hub at a central headquarter. For this purpose, the government will appoint a distributor to design, procure, install, operate and maintain the system.
The selection of the distributor will be done through tenders and a monitoring committee.
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa said the on-line lottery system had been banned during the Congress regime in the state considering its social implications. He said past experience had proven that retailers approved by the state government for online lottery ran parallel “satta” centres.
He claimed that Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was promoting gambling and trying to bring casino culture to the state by earmarking a piece of land near Ludhiana.
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