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Boledo returns on Friday, December 1st

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2023. 10:27 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Government Lotteries formally return on Friday, December 1, with the first drawing to be made on Sunday, December 3.

The enterprise is now controlled by a Government-owned company – Belize Government Lotteries Limited (BGLL), which has sub-contracted the master agency for sales to two companies.

As announced last week, the chief shareholders of MGM Entertainment Limited (not to be confused with motion picture producers Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), registered in Belmopan, are Jian He Chen and Amy Chen. They will be distributors for lottery in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo districts.

The shareholders for Nando’s Wholesale LLP, registered in Belize City are Jitendra Nandwani, Ishwarlal Nandwani, and Nandlal Nandwani and they will distribute in Caye Caulker and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

There are 400 sub-agents (resellers) across the country, and sales distributors will earn a commission from the government owned BGLL of 15 percent on total wagers and will pay sub-agents a commission of 8-10 percent.

The remaining proceeds from the sale of the government lottery will remain with BGLL and will be used to fund the Official Charities Fund (usually awarded a portion of the national budget annually) and the expansion of National Health Insurance.

There is no provision for any public reporting of revenues.

Prime Minister John Briceno said last week that the new system maximizes Government profits as compared to the old Brads’ regime: “… there is nothing to hide, there was next to no information when it comes to the Boledo because earlier the company was reporting high payouts, so they have low profits, and when they realized that the government could probably take over, then all of a sudden, the payout got small and the profits got large, and so there’s nothing on where we could really make a basis on what the percentage is supposed to be between us and the sellers. Again, I repeat, we’re following the same system that the telecoms have used successfully. As opposed to the government having 1,000 sellers, what we’re doing, we’re working with master agents, now these master agents, initially they wanted to get 25 percent but the numbers did not work and finally, back and forth, with the, everything has been vetted by the Contractor General, I think they ended up with a 5% margin for themselves and then the government will be paying out the payments and everything. And if I remember right, they are also required, just like with the telecoms, they have to pay for the tickets, they have to pay in advance.”

The P.M. also reminded that sales are being done electronically rather than pen and paper.

Earlier this month, Minister of Health Kevin Bernard looked forward to the funding injection into the NHI program, as well as education and sports: “I’m not worried about the fact that it’s the people who will spend the money but it’s who it’s going to benefit, how it’s going to trickle down in healthcare, in sports, in education, these are the things that will come and I’m pretty sure that the team that was involved in this process did a lot of due diligence and making sure that they have done it right.”

Previous license holders Brads Gaming Group Limited are still locked in a tax battle with the Government over the winding up of their license in May.

Prices for the Boledo remain the same at five cents per piece.

 

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