Numbers tilt in favor of traditional lottery firms in southern Vietnam

By Thi Ha   June 12, 2018 | 01:08 pm GMT+7
Numbers tilt in favor of traditional lottery firms in southern Vietnam
Vietnam's traditional lottery firms reign supreme over computerized ones. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam

Their revenue increases can be attributed to a decline in popularity for tickets sold by computerized lottery firm Vietlott.

Southern Vietnam’s traditional lottery firms are gaining ground against computerized lottery firm Vietlott as the latter’s low commission discourages people from opening its agencies.

Traditional lottery firm HCMC Lottery Company Ltd. reported its sales revenue and pre-tax profit for 2017 at VND6.6 trillion ($295 million) and VND1.04 trillion ($46 million), respectively. This marked a respective year-on-year increase of 5 percent and 15 percent.

The VND6.6 trillion in sales revenue was reported to be the highest ever achieved by the firm, as also the highest figure among all Vietnamese lottery firms reported last year.

This year, the company aims at revenues of VND7 trillion and pre-tax profits of VND882 billion. It also plans to release scratch and win tickets.

Other traditional lottery firms in the south have also reported good growth last year, ranging from an increase of 4-7.5 percent in revenues.

Market observers say the revenue increases can be attributed to a decline in popularity for tickets sold by computerized lottery firm Vietlott, which had been dominating Vietnam’s lottery scene with significantly better prizes than other state-run lottery companies.

In April last year, Vietlott reported average sales revenues of just VND10 billion per selling session, a quarter of what it was in November and December of 2016.

The lower commission offered by Vietlott to its agencies, compared to traditional lottery firms, is why many people are discouraged from opening their own agency for Vietlott, market observers say.

Vietlott agency owners get a commission of 5 percent, half that of traditional lottery agency owners.

A Vietlott agency owner in HCMC who did not want to be named said the current commission wasn’t enough to cover the business’s costs, forcing them to sell other products to make ends meet.

Vietlott, one of the country’s biggest players in the lottery scene, reported net revenues of VND3.07 trillion and after-tax profits of VND216.7 billion last year.

For this year, it estimates gross sales revenues at VND4.629 trillion , but after-tax profits of just VND142 billion. It has not explained the discrepancy of higher sales and lower profits.

Vietnam officially frowns on gambling, but lottery tickets have always been popular.

The traditional lottery in Vietnam offers tickets with predetermined numbers printed on them and a top prize of VND2 billion ($88,000), which was raised by 33 percent at the beginning of last year in a bid to make it more attractive.

Around 856 million traditional lottery tickets worth VND66.68 trillion ($2.9 billion) were sold in southern Vietnam in 2016, according to media reports.

 
 
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