Saturday, November 26, 2016

Vietlott exec on Mega 6/45 suspicions

Mega 6/45 announced yet another jackpot winner with a prize surpassing VND56 billion ($2.5 million). This was the fourth lucky customer winning this unprecedented American-style lottery in the past month after the first winner was announced in late October 2016, prompting questions of the draw’s transparency. Vietlott deputy general director Nguyen Thanh Dam shines further light on the issue.
The computerised lottery found winners for its multi-million dollar prizes after each time in the past month. The winners wore masks when taking over their prizes, which has raised public qualms about transparency. Is this a PR stunt from Vietlott?
I would like to confirm that the recent awards and ticket winners are the genuine article and that all information and related files were checked by the relevant management agencies. We have just made public a confirmation letter from Vietnam Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) confirming the transfer of more than VND205 billion ($9.36 million) to pay for the jackpot prizes.
Publicising the winners’ name is currently under discussion in countries around the world, including the US, not only Vietnam. Buyers of computerised lottery tickets have the right for privacy. The Ministry of Finance’s regulations also state that disclosing any information pertaining to the winners should be done at their discretion. This matches international practice.
At the prize-giving ceremonies held by Vietlott, we declared as much information as was allowed by the winners. Most lucky buyers shared that they feared their lives could be turned upside down or even threatened if their private information was made public. We, therefore, have the responsibility to preserve winners’ information privacy.
The public is suspicious of possible violations in the computerised lottery trade, such as Vietlott sales agents in several localities operating without the necessary equipment, or street vendors carrying pre-printed figures that are otherwise unavailable at sales agents. Do you have an explanation?
The number of computerised lottery ticket buyers has increased exponentially in the past month, making it hard for existing equipment to catch up with actual demands. Our company is responsible for signing contracts and supervising sales agents. There have been reports of a growing number of swindles abusing Vietlott’s and its agents’ reputation, cultivating false rumours, and damaging the company’s reputation.
How can you explain the existence of pre-printed tickets as well as regular tickets sold by vendors?
In some cases, computerised tickets were sold at a higher price than the ticket set value or even sold by vendors. The company held a recent meeting with the Southern Lottery Council, where we committed to closely cooperate with relevant lottery companies to ensure that operations stayed within the law.
Nguyen Hoang Duong, deputy head of Finance and Banking Department, Ministry of Finance (MoF)
After receiving reports from the media and several state organisations about possible violations, we have contacted Vietlott and required the company to review and tighten management measures.
Vietlott’s reports and our inspection revealed that the current computerised lottery model is very appealing to buyers, which has prompted individuals and organisations turned to Vietlott’s agents to buy tickets for resale. The results of such spontaneous acts are beyond the company’s control. Vietlott reiterated that they suspend agents found to have committed violations.
The MoF has also requested relevant agencies to coordinate with the provincial People’s Committees to ensure keeping order in the lottery market and minimise violations.
At the end of 2016, the MoF will review the computerised lottery business’ five months in operation. Based on its findings, the Ministry will present better development orientations. This will help satisfy people’s healthy entertainment demands, while raising extra budget for investment development.
By Huu Hoe


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