Lottery vendors rally in front of Government House, want GLO chief fired
Hundreds of lottery vendors marched to Government House to call for the removal of the Government Lottery Office (GLO) director and board and demand lottery quotas.
The protesters started gathering on Phitsanulok Road in front of the Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon at 10am and then marched to Government House to submit their demands.
The group said they were small lottery vendors from around the country. They did not disclose their numbers. On Saturday evening, the main group of protesters, who are lottery vendors from Loei province, said some 500 of them had travelled in 14 chartered buses to camp outside the university on Sunday evening to join the demonstration on Monday morning.
The protesters started their activities at 8am by organising their own “registration of real lottery vendors” with the hope of submitting their names to the GLO to seek lottery quotas.
Their leader, Jirasak Noikam, who said he was a tentative general election candidate for the ruling Palang Pracharath Party in Loei, said the group wanted Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to sack the GLO director and board of directors and to provide a fair share of lottery quotas to small vendors.
The group said they were also opposed to the GLO’s plan to launch new products of online three-digit and six-digit lotteries as they fear the popular digital version of lottery tickets would affect small vendors because the current vendors have not yet received quotas of the digital tickets.
Police were deployed to keep security in front of Government House and the Chamai Maruchet Bridge was closed to traffic.
The protesters also sent their representatives to file a complaint with the Central Investigation Bureau in Chatuchak district at 9.15am.
In the complaint, they alleged that the GLO had unfairly revoked the quotas of 50,000 small lottery vendors and they called on the CIB to investigate alleged irregularities in the sale of digital lottery and the plan to issue three-digit and six-digit online lotteries.
They said they had to seek the CIB’s help because the Central Administrative Court had rejected their lawsuit against the GLO for alleged unfair revocation of the quotas of the 50,000 vendors.
The GLO said the 50,000 vendors’ quotas were cancelled because their tickets were found to be sold on the online platforms of some major investors at inflated prices.
The complaint claimed that the 50,000 vendors sold their tickets at 80 baht each to general people and they did not know why the tickets ended up being resold on online platforms.
The digital system was launched to combat overpricing that has plagued the government lottery for years. The Paotang digital lottery tickets are sold at the original price of 80 baht. They have proved so popular with the public that vendors are complaining they no longer have customers for their paper tickets.