Fri, Feb 17, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Cabinet passes revisions to Sports Lottery Act

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Cabinet yesterday passed draft amendments to the Sports Lottery Act (運彩發行條例) to strengthen the issuing agency’s responsibilities and impose heavier penalties on those who take advantage of their position to make illegal gains.

The revisions, which follow allegations of fraud several months ago, will be sent to the legislature for approval.

The raft of revisions will require the issuing agency and other commissioned units to strengthen their internal monitoring mechanisms to ensure the fairness of the operations, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) said in a regular Cabinet meeting.

The fraud case, exposed in September last year, involved a Taiwan Sport Lottery Corp assistant manager, Lin Hao-chin (林昊縉), who allegedly defrauded the lottery by running a scam that allowed his accomplices to bet on sports events after the results were known.

The Taiwan Sport Lottery is a subsidiary of Fubon Financial Holding Co, which was commissioned by the Sports Affairs Council to operate the lottery.

The proposed amendments include a requirement that the issuing agency and commissioned units must establish an internal monitoring system and report any suspicious cases.

Heavier fines for those caught taking advantage of their positions at the lottery-issuing agency to make illegal profits are also among the revisions.

It is hoped that the changes will help restore public confidence in the sports lottery, Chen said.

Lin was responsible for opening and closing the betting system at Taiwan Sport Lottery, police said.

He was fired on Aug. 23 last year, a few weeks before the scandal broke, and he has been indicted on charges of fraud.

Lin allegedly ran the scam seven times between June and August last year, and he is said to have defrauded the lottery of about NT$3.73 million (US$126,000) during that time, police said.

He cashed in about NT$430,000 of that amount, police said.

After prosecutors began their investigation, Lin surrendered to police.

One of his alleged accomplices, reportedly his girlfriend, also turned herself in.

Executives of Taiwan Sport Lottery and Fubon Financial have apologized for the alleged scam.

Fubon Financial has about two years to go on its six-year contract with the sports council to run the lottery.

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