Fri, Sep 08, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Lottery negotiations break down again

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Already strained relations between Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) and its 5,000 lottery ticket sellers hit rock bottom after a third round of negotiations broke down yesterday.

The Ministry of Finance, which oversees the lottery project, instructed Chinatrust Commercial, which won exclusive rights to issue lottery tickets for a seven-year period commencing next January, to amend its contract with ticket sellers this week by taking their feedback into account.

Both parties will meet again on Monday to go through the draft contract clause by clause, said Cheng Chih-chen (鄭至臻), deputy director-general of the ministry's National Treasury Agency.

"We're very angry. They [Chinatrust Commercial] say one thing [in front of the ministry's officials] and do another," said Weng Wei-kuo (翁偉國), secretary-general of the public lottery agents association.

Under the terms of the current contract, ticket retailers, for example, are required to purchase their shopfittings from the bank and are forbidden from operating other retail businesses from the same shop.

Deng Yan-dun (鄧彥敦), chairman of the newly established Taiwan Lottery Co (台灣彩券公司), said that the organization would continue to communicate with agents in the hope that together they could improve sales through the introduction of new products.

Taiwan Lottery Co is wholly controlled by Chinatrust Commercial's parent

company, Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控). The bank has to pay the

ministry NT$2.09 billion (US$63.6 million) per year for the right to operate

its lottery franchise, 10 times the floor price.

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