The business is expected to mint millions in revenue for the government

Business: The Royal Bhutan Lottery ltd (RBLL) launched its first monthly paper lottery, Phuensum Dharim, for the domestic market yesterday at its headquarters in Phuentsholing.

The lottery business is projected to make about Nu 366 million (M) annually starting from 2018.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay who attended the launch ceremony said that the reopening of the lottery business in the country has two major objectives: profit and image.

“It is to make profit first,” he said, followed by improving the country’s name and image globally. “That is why we reworked, amended, and restarted the lottery business.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that the country’s lottery had a very good brand image in the Indian market.

Lyonchoen said the revenue generated from the lottery business would be financed in developing the country’s social, cultural, and environmental activities.

However, Lyonchoen said that people across the country who intend to buy and try their luck should not overdo it and buy more than what they can afford.

“Although it is an opportunity, you should not buy lotteries beyond your limit,” he said, adding that if people gamble on lotteries,  the whole purpose of opening the lottery business would be defeated.

The price of one Phuensum Dharim is Nu 50. The first prize is Nu 1M, while the second is Nu 500,000. Including other prizes, 6,223 people will have chances to win prizes that start from Nu 100.

RBLL has already appointed eight regional sales agents across the country. The monthly paper lottery will be distributed and marketed only in the domestic market.

The lottery business was one of the top 10 highest revenue generators for the country before it was closed. RBLL will come up with other lottery schemes such as a weekly lottery and instant scratch card games in its second phase in 2017.

In its third phase, RBLL is planning to reach out and expand its business to the Indian market by 2018.

Marketing manager with RBLL, Karma Choden said that the two schemes planned in the second phase would be only for domestic market.

“We are planning to take the lottery business to the Indian market by early 2018,” the marketing manager said. “We will need government directives for this.”

The RBLL office in Phuentsholing has employed 11 staff today. Besides its own staff, the lottery business will also generate employment opportunities through appointment of sales agents and their sub-agents, officials said.

The finance minister Namgay Dorji also attended the paper lottery launch yesterday.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing