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Sikkim told its lottery violates State laws

By Our Special Correspondent

Bangalore Nov. 24. It appears to be the end of the road for the Internet lottery which has created much controversy. The Director of Small Savings and State Lottery, has in a communication informed the Director of Lotteries, Sikkim, that the sale of their lottery through the Internet violated the laws in Karnataka.

Responding to a letter from the Director of Lotteries, Sikkim, H. Raghupathy, his Karnataka counterpart, said that the Internet lotteries being marketed by the Sikkim Government in Karnataka violated the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998, the Karnataka State Lottery Rules, 1999, and the Karnataka Computerised Network Lottery Rules, 2001.

Section 6 (b) of the Lotteries Act specifies: "The State Government shall print the lottery tickets bearing the imprint and logo of the State so that the authenticity of the ticket is ensured." The Internet lottery promoted by Sikkim does not provide the player with the physical ticket. A portion of the paper lottery is allotted by the marketing agent to be sold through the Net. The numbers on these paper tickets are uploaded on the Internet by the marketing agent.

When a player selects a number, the computer generates a receipt with the numbers selected and not the actual lottery ticket. This means it is not possible for the player to verify the authenticity of the ticket as required by the Karnataka legislation. The receipt issued by the computer terminals does not constitute a ticket as required under the Act.

Mr. Raghupathy also stated that the emblem and logo of the Government of Sikkim and the signature of the Director of Lotteries, Sikkim, were being used on the receipts issued by the marketing agent. This also violated the Act which clearly stipulated that the logo and emblem should be printed on the tickets and not on the receipt. The ticket issued to players says: "This advance slip is only a proof of purchase and not a ticket."

The State laws have provisions only for paper and online lotteries and not for Internet lottery, the Director said. "As the authenticity of the tickets of Sikkim lottery over the Internet cannot be confirmed, it is a matter of concern that lakhs of gullible people in Karnataka are falling prey to such lotteries with draws almost every 15 minutes," Mr. Raghupathy said.

In a separate letter, he has informed the Director-General of Police, Karnataka, that the lotteries sold through Internet by a local agent violated existing laws. The official online lottery of Karnataka was being marketed under the brand name Playwin. The DGP was asked to take immediate action against illegal Internet lotteries.

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