[EDITORIALS]No winners with excess lotteriesAccording to a survey, there are 13 kinds of printed lottery tickets issued by various government agencies. Seven out of 10 of them are discarded because of low sales. The survey also indicates that significant quantities of tickets are sent directly to the waste dump from the printing press. We wonder why such tickets are continuously issued. In the case of printed tickets, the cost of issuing and circulation alone takes up to 40 percent of total sales and the profit gained by the issuing organization is only 15.4 percent. As the profit rate is low, raising the target amount is not easy. It is doubtful that the aims of the agencies are met in this way.
Various government offices, including the Korea Veterans Welfare and Health Care Corp. and local governments competitively launched lottery projects. As a result, there are some 62 kinds of electronically-issued lotteries, including Lotto and others, sold over the Internet. Before Lotto was launched two years ago, Korea’s lottery market was less than 1 trillion won ($974 million). But it started to grow fast after the sales of Lotto, and overall lottery sales exceeded 3.6 trillion won last year. However, most of them, except Lotto, are in poor financial shape. Printed lottery tickets are shunned by customers so fast that the discard rate has jumped to 72 percent from 42 percent in 2002. It is because there is no jackpot prize like Lotto and competition among various Internet lotteries is fiercer.
There is criticism that public institutes shouldn’t arouse the passion for gambling among people with the lotteries, but the lotteries do raise funds for public projects that government money can’t support. Advanced countries have various kinds of lotteries too.
For the healthy development of lottery projects, the side effects of excessive competition and overcrowding should be avoided. Too many kinds of lotteries are also harmful to the nation. Issuing lottery tickets that don’t sell with low profit rates are not reasonable economically and efficiency wise. Other countries whose lottery markets are bigger than ours have around 10 kinds of lotteries.
Uncompetitive lotteries should be merged with others. The loss caused to the issuing organization of merged lottery can be compensated by dividing the profit of combined lotteries. Complicated sales structures should be improved, and management of profits should be made more efficient. The overall lottery policy should be put in order.