Thrissur: The hartals declared at short notice are playing havoc with the fortunes of lottery dealers, especially the ‘bulk’ agents who buy even a lakh tickets five days a week in advance of the date of draw.
According to such agents, if a hartal is declared, the sales of the lotteries are affected for two days. The lotteries which are meant to be drawn on the hartal day would be sold only by half and the demand for the ticket which is scheduled for draw the day after the hartal would also come down.
According to R. Sivadas of Akshaya Lottery, who is a wholesale agent here and purchases tickets directly from the district lottery officer by making payment at the government treasury, the sale of tickets which went down considerably after the floods had taken another beating with the hartal announced on Thursday.
“Due to the slump in sales after Onam, the state government had cut down the printing of tickets costing Rs 30 from 96 lakh to 72 lakh and the Karunya tickes worth Rs 40 from 90 lakh to 50 lakh. After the sales gained momentum, the printing of tickets was increased to the usual numbers but the hartal on Monday affected both the wholesale agents and the retailers,” he said.
While the wholesale agents get a margin of 50 to 60 paise on a ticket, the retail sellers get a margin of `5 on a ticket he said.
Another agent K.M. Suresh of SJ Lottery in Kottayam said that almost 70 percent of money spent to buy the lotteries scheduled for the draw on hartal days would be lost as there was no provision for the state government to take back the unsold tickets, he said.
Agents said that to deal with the issue of the unsold tickets, the state government should give them fresh tickets for the unsold tickets because under normal circumstances almost all the tickets are sold out generating large revenue for the government.