Fri, May 05, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Chinatrust lists selection process for lotto agencies

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀), which won the exclusive right to issue public lotteries starting next year, yesterday unveiled its agency selection measures for special groups who can submit their applications before May 26.

Aborigines, single parents, low-income families and physically or mentally challenged individuals may participate in the selection procedure. Chinatrust Commercial will then hold a draw on June 12 to pick out 5,000 ticket-selling agencies, the bank said during a press conference.

"We think the number 5,000 represents the most suitable market scope considering competition, sales volumes and the quality of lottery ticket purchases during peak hours," said Chang Ruu-tian (張汝恬), executive vice president of Chinatrust Commercial, who will be in charge of the bank's lottery center.

Last December the bank outbid three rivals to win the seven-year lotto-issuing right and agreed to pay NT$2.09 billion (US$65.85 million) per year to state coffers. The government's contract with the nation's first lotto-issuer, Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行), will expire at the end of this year.

Chinatrust Commercial plans to raise its agencies' monthly sales quota, with lotto outlets in remote, mountainous areas required to sell at least NT$300,000 worth of tickets per month and other locations to bring in monthly sales of NT$500,000 or more.

Agencies which fail to reach this minimum amount for six accumulative months within a year and whose sales performance rank among the last five percent in a city or county will have their licenses revoked, Chang said.

Chang said the bank has imposed the stricter measures to encourage these groups to do their best in selling the tickets.

However, these standards have triggered complaints among those interested in applying for ticket-selling licenses, saying that Chinatrust Commercial's offer of over NT$2 billion per annum to the government is way too high, forcing it to lean on ticket sellers to maintain its profitability.

In response, Chang said that the bank realizes that this new business is an important challenge and hopes to make profits by integrating a good brand, ideal locations, a clean image and suitable products.

She also said that contrary to media reports, the bank did not apply with the Ministry of Finance to issue "mini-lottos" at NT$10 each or allow lotto purchases via the Internet and cellphones.

The reports had been severely criticized by lawmakers, who argued that the

cheaper tickets would make lottos even more accessible and could lead to a

social malady.

Meanwhile, Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城), director general of the ministry's

National Treasury Agency, said lotto tickets must be issued through agencies

and the ministry will study whether playing lotto games via the Internet or

cellphones conforms with legal regulations.

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