Lottery: The Royal Bhutan Lottery Limited (RBLL) was launched in Phuentsholing yesterday.

The company’s launch comes four years after the Bhutan lottery operation was halted in 2011 following a controversy.

Bringing back the lottery business was one of the many pledges of the government during the run up to elections.

RBLL will be a state owned enterprise (SOE) under the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

The SOE will function under a board of directors which the finance secretary, Lam Dorji, will chair.

While RBLL will begin recruiting employees shortly it has not yet been determined when operations will commence.

While a CEO has been identified, the CEO is also yet to start working with RBLL.

The government last year declared that it would provide seed money of about Nu 100 million as paid up capital to RBLL. This seed money will enable the company to start its lottery business from the first quarter of 2016.

The government’s main objective of restarting the lottery business is to generate revenue. It also aims to provide a healthy platform for the people to contribute towards the economy through a responsible “gaming system.”

Along with the paper lotteries, RBLL also intends to explore semi-option lotteries in the future.

“Although not substantial, the lottery business in the past was a good source of income, especially for rupees,” finance secretary Lam Dorji said.

Lam Dorji added that the RBLL board and the CEO will soon have meetings to formulate lottery schemes and businesses.

Finance minister Namgay Dorji launched the company yesterday. He said that the lottery business would enhance and support country’s bid for economic self-sufficiency.

“We import more and export less,” lyonpo said, adding that the lottery business would bring down the trade deficit with other countries, especially India, while earning rupees.

Lyonpo Namgay Dorji also pointed out that the lottery business would mean more employment opportunities in the country.

RBLL will begin with a domestic paper lottery followed by online, regional and international operations.

Bhutan lottery was started in 1976.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing