Lottery distributors shut shop in Bengal

Distributors of Sikkim and Nagaland State lotteries have closed down operations in West Bengal in the face of taxes imposed on draws by the Government.

“Lottery distribution of Sikkim and Nagaland State lotteries both in on-line and paper forms have been stopped in the State with effect from Monday,” West Bengal Stockist Lottery Association president Surojit Bose said.

The lottery chain typically runs from the Government to distributors to stockists and then to retailers and agents.

The lottery business was exempt from any kind of taxation in the State, but the new government under Mamata Banerjee imposed a tax of Rs. 1 lakh per draw, he said.

In the first four months, the State Government realised Rs. 55 crore, with the projected annual realisation of Rs 200 crore.

On November 22, the tax was raised to Rs. 5 lakh per draw.

Following this, the distributors mainly Playwin, Playsmart and Smartwin, decided to shut down operations unless the government reversed its decision. - PTI

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