DLB considering online lottery for Millennials


by Sanath Nanayakkare

Development Lotteries Board (DLB) Chairman Romesh Jayawardana says that the DLB is exploring ways to launch an online lottery which will appeal to the new Millennials or Generation Y who are not too keen on purchasing paper-based traditional lotteries.

Millenials or Generation Y are the young people born in 1980s-1990s and in early 2000.

"A survey conducted by undergraduate students of the University of Colombo revealed that young people would find an online lottery more appealing. We are ambitious to penetrate this important market segment by doing the right things. The concept is still in the incubator, but we are ambitious at this planning stage," he said.

Noting that many lottery tickets remain unsold, Jayawardana said that the DLB expects to achieve a 4-5% increase in sales by extending the daily draw deadline by about 3 hours.

"This will be facilitated by the new IT system which will phase out current manual operations," he said.

Referring to DLB financials the chairman said,"DLB posted unparallelled performance in 2016. Sales revenue rose by a record 25% over the previous year, while the pre-tax profit increased by more than 20%. In 2016, DLB contributed Rs. 1,800 million to the President's Fund, up from Rs. 1,600 million the year before. Our income tax payments increased from Rs. 662 million to Rs. 925 million".

"In total, DLB contributed Rs. 3,500 million to the government. This included Rs. 1,800 million to the President's Fund, Rs. 556 million in VAT, Rs. 468 million in income tax, Rs. 456 million in default income tax and Rs. 241 million in NBT. Had it not been for the high default income tax, due to the non-payment of income tax by the previous management, the organization would have contributed a record sum to the President's Fund in 2016", Romesh Jayawardana said.

When asked about the recent strike staged by lottery sellers protesting against the Rs. 10 price increase of lottery tickets, the chairman said," All parties have had meaningful dialogues and have come to an understanding to move forward in the industry without upsetting the apple cart. I am going to the North and East tomorrow to meet our distributors and agents there. This trip is especially meant to thank them for their unique co-operation. None of them went on strike protesting against the price increase".

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