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Lottery gets a lifeline but rules get tougher.

The UPA government has toned down the " prohibition" in the lottery Bill to " regulation". The new Bill allows paper and online lotteries to operate in all states under tough regulations.

The rules are expected to protect the interests of the consumer.

It states that the maximum price of any lottery ticket would not be less than Rs 2 and the highest prize would be at least Rs 10,000.

No state can organise more than 24 lottery draws a day and 12 bumper draws a year.

Such rules are expected to put an end to malpractices in the lottery business. No state can offer a prize on a lottery ticket on the basis of single, double or triple digits in any form. This applies to online lottery too.

The Union government will have the power to conduct special audits of any lottery scheme through the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and it can ban a lottery scheme if found illegal.

The states will ensure that the income tax on prizes is deducted at source and will have to notify each lottery with details such as the number of tickets printed. This is because all tickets will now be printed at government presses.

The rules make it mandatory for the states to constitute a regulatory committee, comprising four state government officials -- representatives from state finance and tax departments and the state police.

There will be no lottery draws on national holidays, while draws will have to be organised between 2 pm and 6 pm on other days. States will also need to set up a central computer server that will manage, monitor and control the online lottery.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 3, 2010
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