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Do you approve of the move to sell lottery tickets on three days a week instead of five?

A Lao lottery operator has informed its agents, ticket sellers and buyers that tickets will now be on sale three times a week instead of five days as before, saying this reflects people’s wishes and will help prevent the illegal sale of lottery tickets. Vientiane Times asked around for people’s thoughts on the change.

Mr Chone Xaysongkham, a resident of Savannakhet province: I think the focus should not be on the number of days that lottery tickets go on sale, but what the public wants. Some people enjoy playing games of luck and even if they can’t take part in the official Lao lottery they will participate in other, illicit, lotteries. But it’s a form of gambling and we should not take it seriously, and anyway we should be trying to save money in these times of financial hardship. It does seem that more and more illegal lotteries are springing up but no one appears to care about the law. It would be better if officials cracked down on these unlawful activities and improved the way that the Lao lottery is run, so that all aspects of it are transparent and fair.
Ms Phannga Chanthavong, a government official in Champassak province:  I don’t like sweepstakes because it’s a form of gambling. I really worry about society today because gambling is causing a lot of problems. What I see is that lots of people are well known for buying lottery tickets and work hard to get a lot of money so they can buy them five times a week. And they also buy illegal lottery tickets, which are openly on sale. I don’t know if the authorities are keeping track of what’s going on, but I think they should step in and take action because I hear of illegal lottery sales taking place every day, with notifications many times a day. I often see many people taking part, which is a bad habit to get into.

Mr Bounmy, a government official in Xaythany district, Vientiane: Of course, all forms of gambling are illegal but the purchase of lottery tickets is very common and out in the open because the law isn’t enforced. Sometimes people are apprehended but they’re not actually fined, just asked to hand over some money. As far as I’m concerned, gambling should be illegal because it’s the source of many problems. People get addicted to gambling and can’t give it up. Most get into debt and some resort to stealing to pay off their debts. This is a great cause of societal unrest and we should stop all forms of illegal gambling so that people no longer suffer.
Ms Phonsanith Bounnam, a resident of Vientiane province: I both sell and buy lottery tickets but I don’t seem to have any luck and in reality I think there is little chance of anyone winning a prize. But some people are addicted to this pastime and buy lottery tickets for every draw and lose a lot of money in the process. In addition, in this time of the economic hardship, people should be more cautious with their money. If possible I think Lao lottery operators should reduce the number of days to just twice a month. The best thing would be for the government to actively stop people from gambling and encourage them to earn money honestly.

Ms Chanthy Buathong, a resident of Xayaboury province: I don’t think it makes much difference whether lottery tickets are sold on more or fewer days because there are so many illegal lotteries around the country these days. The authorities should  monitor the problem and not only call a halt to illegal lotteries, but enforce the law on all forms of gambling, especially online gambling. These days we’re all short of money and I urge people to save and to spend wisely and not waste money on gambling.  



By Lamphone Pasanthong
 (Latest Update August 16, 2023)

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