Bhutan Lottery is finally here

The Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Dorji along with the Finance Secretary and Bhutan Lottery Board Chairman Lham Dorji launched the Bhutan Lottery Office in Phuentsholing on friday.

Bhutan Lottery already has a board and CEO who will now work out the details and scope of the lottery operations.

The ultimate aim of Bhutan Lottery will be to earn valuable INR for Bhutan from India.

As a start the SOE will set up a paper lottery business like the Bhutan Lottery within Bhutan. Eventually once legal and other issues are resolved in India the plan is to take it across the border.

The previous Bhutan Lottery which was cancelled in 2011 was sold in both India and Bhutan though overwhelmingly the main market was India with very few buyers in Bhutan.

The MoF is also injecting some equity investment from the government for setting up the
company and starting the business.

Earlier the Ministry of Finance (MoF) had a Directorate of Lottery located in Phuentsholing which was closed along with the lottery business in 2011.

Bhutan Lottery was closed in 2011 after a series of investigative stories from 2007 to 2010 exposed a multi-billion lottery scam.

However, while the government has started Bhutan Lottery, its eventual move to India will be far from smooth as several fake Indian companies, claiming to be Bhutan Lottery, have come up.

The Bhutanese in an earlier investigation came across around 17 different Indian lottery companies doing billions worth of lottery business, all of whom are falsely claiming to either be the government of Bhutan lottery or using Bhutan Lottery tickets and names. Most of these companies have started from 2011 onwards after the former government closed down the Bhutan Lottery business.

The Bhutanese found that these 17 companies are all actively functioning today with daily ‘Bhutan Lottery’ draws.

Earlier, the Finance Minister had said that the ministry would let the new State Owned Enterprise (SOE) for Bhutan Lottery handle the issue of 17 Indian lottery companies falsely claiming to be Bhutan Lottery and representing the Bhutan government since 2011 onwards.

He said that once Bhutan Lottery starts they would take action against anyone falsely claiming to be Bhutan Lottery.

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