Monsoon impedes Bhutan Lottery sales

During the first year of its operation, the monsoon rains affected the sales of Bhutan Lottery Limited (BLL).

Rainfall would often disrupt sales and damage tickets. While lottery sales could go up to 60% other seasons, only 40% was sold during summer. Also, since most of the ticket sellers are mobile, the season posed several challenges.

“These periods are the worst for us,” said Public Relations and Media Officer of BLL, Karma Choden.

However, road blocks are not seen as a major problem as the tickets are distributed once a month through Bhutan Post mail bus service.

Also, due to a small market, Bhutan Lottery has not hit the sales target. Only up to 60% of the tickets are sold every month against the expected 90%. Further, the lottery tickets are sold only in the Bhutanese market and are yet to go international. The month-long wait for results has not helped either. On the other hand, Indian state lottery results are declared instantly.

“People across the border are much more used to Indian lotteries,” said Karma Choden. Thimphu, so far, has been the biggest market for Bhutan Lottery.

More than 50% of the Bhutan Lottery is sold of the total distributed. “We are expecting better sales in the coming months as monsoon is over now,” said Chief Executive Officer of BLL, Phenphay R Drukpa.

However, BLL is planning to conduct an assessment into the lottery sales especially during summer. Every month, 200,000 tickets are printed and sold to distributors and sales agents across the country.  BLL earns around Nu 1mn net profit a month in peak season while during monsoon, the net profit the company earns drops to Nu 600,000.

Bumper and Phuensum Dharim are BLL’s two lottery products. Phuensum Dharim has done well in the market compared to Bumper. Next, BLL plans to go online and introduce scratch cards.  So far, Bhutan Lottery has awarded big prices to 33 winners of Phuensum Dharim and nine to Bumper winners. BLL also distributed prizes to 30,000 other lottery winners.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing