Tue, Feb 25, 2003 - Page 11 News List

TaipeiBank holds workshop to recruit more ticket vendors for Kinmen region

CNA , KINMEN

Nearly 500 people attended a workshop sponsored by TaipeiBank (台北銀行) yesterday in Kinmen for the purpose of recruiting lottery sale agents.

The participants, who arrived in wheelchairs, on crutches and in Mercedes Benz and Cadillac limousines, scrambled to win the agent rights for the TaipeiBank lottery, which has been a cash cow for the island since its introduction more than one year ago.

TaipeiBank allows only physically challenged or low-income individuals to be its lottery agents.

At present, there are 13 lottery agents on Kinmen, but TaipeiBank is planning to increase the number by 18 to meet the sales demand, which the TaipeiBank authorities believe to be brisk partly because of strong buying from China.

According to recent reports, the opening of the "small three links" has not only benefited traders between Kinmen and the China, it has also offered the hope of getting rich quick to lottery players from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

A small lottery sales booth in Kinmen was confirmed by Taipei-Bank recently to be the third-largest of all the bank's sales agents in terms of sales volume.

According to TaipeiBank tallies, sales of lottery tickets issued by government-run bank totaled about NT$79 billion (US$2.29 billion) last year. Of that total, 8 percent, or some NT$6.32 billion (US$183 million), was paid as commission to lottery sales booths, including those in Kinmen and Penghu.

On average, each of the 4,900 sales booths around the country made NT$1.26 million (US$36,522) in sales commission last year.

However, the difference in the amount of business at such booths last year was large, with the top 20 outlets in terms of sales commission each making more than NT$5 million (US$144,928).

Surprised by the huge sales posted by the small Kinmen outlet, TaipeiBank officials recently traveled there to investigate.

They discovered that local Kinmen residents are not the outlet's only customers, with a large portion of sales being made to lottery players from Fujian Province who sail across the Strait to buy tickets.

According to a Kinmen lottery salesman, the Chinese are keen buyers because they think the Taiwan lottery is fairer than its Chinese counterparts and has larger jackpots, often as high as NT$100 million.

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