Says Lotteries Board denies improper printing of tickets
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayake rejected UPFA Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardana’s charges in Parliament yesterday that lottery tickets were printed without a draw date, draw number and winning numbers.
Issuing a ministerial statement, the Minister clarified to the House that no such printing was done and the Criminal Investigations Department was assigned to investigate the MP’s statement, which misleads the public and could have a serious impact on lottery sales.
“MP Gunawardena at a media conference organised by the Joint Opposition on 25 June displayed pieces of paper indicating them as lottery tickets. He stated that these alleged lottery tickets did not contain a draw date, draw numbers or winning numbers. He also stated that the said lottery was due to be drawn on 17 June and had been issued to the market. He said that those were false tickets. This is a serious allegation. I made inquiries from the National Lotteries Board and they have denied all,” Minister Karunanayake said. Highlighting the impact the Government will have over the loss of revenue generated from lottery sales, the Minister said: “According to a report of the National Lotteries Board, what was shown by the MP at the press conference was an impression of the artwork of the Govi Setha lottery ticket. The Govi Setha lottery is drawn five days of the week and it’s printed in five different colours. Any lottery ticket sold in the market must have the variable data (winning numbers, date, draw numbers, bar code and QR code) to be a valid lottery ticket.”
“Finally, a special security overlay is printed on the surface. It is strange that the MP while displaying the impressions of lottery tickets told the media there was no draw date or draw number printed and at the same time stated that it was to be drawn on 17 June. I think it is pertinent to ask the MP as to how he presumed that it was to be drawn on 17 June.” According to the Minister, the National Lotteries Board has confirmed that neither the sales network nor the purchasers of lotteries made any discoveries of such erroneous lotteries or of any fraud. “The matter has now been handed over to the CID for further investigation and the NLB seeks legal advice on the future course of action. MP Gunawardena should go before the CID and make a statement in this regard, and if he does not do that we will make sure that he will be summoned. There are nine lotteries of the NLB in the market and daily three million lottery tickets are being printed. The irresponsible statement of the MP could have affected the sales of lottery tickets,” he added. (AH)