Bhutan Lottery Limited to go online

However, the facility will be available only for Bhutanese customers initially

A year into operation, Bhutan Lottery Limited (BLL) is planning to go online apart from introducing instant scratch cards.

Works on instant scratch cards have already started. BLL has selected printers for the cards after an open tender.

Designing works for the card are also ongoing. “We are hoping to launch the card by November,” said Public Relations and Media Officer of Bhutan Lottery, Karma Choden.

The product will be launched on the same date the paper lottery was launched last year. With the scratch card, the results will be declared instantly as opposed to a month.

A scratch card will cost Nu 30, lower than the price of paper lotteries. Meanwhile, the prize money is Nu 500,000.

Also, the lottery office has already formed a team to conduct research on its operation and success. The online lottery will be initially targeting the domestic market. BLL said that the products have been identified and works are ongoing. The online lottery will be an app or web-based lottery where registered Bhutanese players can take part with their bank accounts.

Meanwhile BLL will look into responsible gambling following due procedure of the country’s laws: age limits will be imposed and frequency of games played by an individual player will be restricted. Online gaming platform will be open after office hours so that office goers refrain from playing during work. It also enables account limits so that players are not entertained after playing for an allotted amount of money from his account in a month. “Everything is planned and we are working on its introduction,” said Karma Choden.

BLL hopes the online gaming platform will be a success today with e-payments becoming popular among Bhutanese customers. The game will be designed for entertainment purposes too. It will take another next six months to launch the online lottery.

However, online lottery, too, will be restricted to Bhutanese only owing to numerous formalities the office needs to abide by. “Definitely, we are planning to sell our products outside. But we are targeting Bhutanese initially. We will have an advantage if we go international,” said Karma Choden.

However, BLL will be continuing with the two paper lotteries Phuensum Dharim and Bumper Lottery introduced last year simultaneously. If BLL experiences shift in interest from paper lottery to scratch card, BLL will go for weekly draw from existing monthly draw of two lotteries.

“Our scheme will be based on customers’ response,” said Karma Choden.

Bhutan Lottery earns a net profit of Nu 1.5mn a month. “We did well with the two paper lotteries for a year and we hope our new products will also do well,” said Chief Executive Officer of BLL, Phenphay R Drukpa.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing