HUNDREDS OF lottery sellers yesterday protested at the Bannalak lottery market in Loei's Wang Saphung district after they failed to reserve lottery tickets through banks, while some lottery ticket wholesalers also reportedly try to charge them too much m
Loei Governor Viroj Jiwarangsan negotiated with the 800 lottery retail sellers under the watchful eye of police and military officers. The protest began at around 8am and dissolved by noon after the governor promised to address their problems and talk with wholesalers.
The protest reportedly caused a two-kilometre-long traffic jam on Maliwan 201 Road.
Saengchan Wongnaikot, a lottery ticket vendor from Nong Bua Lamphu, said the group was disappointed because only 300 of the 30,000 retail vendors had been able to reserve tickets when bank officials declared the lottery tickets had sold out after only 15 minutes.
“Reservations through ATMs have also been locked by the system,” she said. “When I cannot book via the ATMs, I have to buy from wholesalers, who charge Bt80 apiece for tickets. If I sell overpriced tickets I will be arrested, or otherwise I will lose my capital.
Meanwhile, Pol General Jakthip Chaijinda, the national police chief, said the gathering, though it reportedly stemmed from problems with people’s livelihoods, was a violation of the Public Assembly Act if they had failed to inform the authorities beforehand.
In the meantime, a network of lottery vendors with physical disabilities yesterday called on Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to suspend a proposed measure requiring all lottery-ticket distributors to put forward a money guarantee.
The Government Lottery Office (GLO) has demanded that the distributors submit a money guarantee equivalent to Bt8,000 per booklet of lottery tickets between tomorrow and November 10.
“Such a measure will force us to turn to loan sharks or give up our livelihood as lottery vendors,” said Decha Patikay, the network’s representative.
He led about 60 people in submitting a petition to Prayut via the government’s complaints centre yesterday.
Decha said the prime minister could put the brakes on the GLO-introduced measure by invoking Article 44 of the interim constitution.
Pol General Aek Angsananont, permanent secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, accepted the petition on Prayut’s behalf. He also arranged a meeting between Decha and the GLO representatives.