National Lottery Company to Open Doors

Vietnam’s Diamond Entertainment Joint Stock Company will launch a national lottery in Cambodia on Sunday with the first draw to be made on Jan 3, officials said yesterday.

Quang Keng, marketing manager for Diamond Entertainment, said players will be able to purchase tickets from shops in major cities such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.

Contestants stand the chance of winning a jackpot of 200 million riel, or about $50,000, in a weekly draw held on Monday.

“Tickets will cost 1,000 riel each,” said Mr Keng, referring all other questions on the details of the game to the company’s management, who could not be reached.

Mey Vann, director of the finance and industry department within the Ministry of Finance, said Diamond Entertainment had acquired an operational license early this year and would function under internal guidelines written by the Ministry of Finance.

He said a law was in the process of being drafted to regulate lottery companies operating in Cambodia.

The introduction of the lottery comes after the police last year launched a nationwide crackdown on illegal gambling and lottery operations. But Mr Vann said that lotteries would not be governed under the same rules as other gambling operations in the country.

“They cannot be the same as gambling [operations] like casinos,” he said. “Lottery is completely different.”

Mr Vann said that the draw for the lottery would be televised and published in local newspapers and that 20 percent of its profits would be granted to charities and other associations.

It still remained to be seen how many contestants the lottery stands to attract. In March the National Olympic Committee launched its own version of the lottery and so far business has been slow.

“We still have it, but it is not good running,” said Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia. “We need a long time. The people don’t understand the new system of this lottery. Only outside Cambodia they know.”

Mr Chamroeun said that the Olympic Committee’s lottery consisted of selecting six numbers and a bonus ball in order to win a jackpot of $250,000.

But with illegal operations still popular, nobody has won the jackpot since the lottery started weekly draws in Phnom Penh in March, he said.


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