SEOUL, Korea, Mar 28 (Korea Bizwire) – With about one in ten grown-ups buying lottos, certain “lucky spots” have sprung up.
The lucky spots are Lotto stores where many lotto winners have bought their winning tickets. It has been 12 years since lotto was first introduced in Korea in 2002, and the lucky spots are ever so popular having a constant stream of customers.
In 2012, the sales at two lucky spots accounted for 1 percent of the total sales of 6,211 domestic lotto stores. The annual sales at the number one dealer located in Nowon District, Seoul, were 16.8 billion won and the annual sales at the runner-up located in Dong District, Busan, was 9.7 billion won.
It has been said that a lotto dealer being known as a lucky spot is almost as good as winning the lottery itself. The lotto store owners get a 5.5-percent commission for each lotto ticket sold so the more tickets are sold, the more they can earn.
In 2012, the top-ten lotto dealers earned on average 329 million won from the average sales of 6.5 billion won, which is 13 times the average earnings of all lotto stores.
Some voices have risen to contend that such an unequal distribution of revenue should no longer be left as it is. The opinion that such unintentional monopolies should be relieved was expressed at government audits as well.
W1.6 bil. lotto winner still no-show (The Korea Times, Mar 12)
From rags to riches, then to thievery (The Korea Times, Mar 6)
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance, which is in charge of the lotto business, is trying to tax the ministry’s ingenuity to resolve such growing gaps among lotto dealers.
The first and the most obvious solution considered was the termination of dealership of so-called lotto lucky spots. Lotto dealerships are meant to be given to public charges such as the disabled and war veterans.
The owners of the lucky spots have already earned large sums of money; therefore, it is legally possible not to renew their lotto dealerships. However, the government is too worried about the expected protests of the lucky spot owners to implement this plan.
Instead, they have come up with a plan B, in which the lotto store owners’ commission rate is reduced once the sales approach a certain level. Nevertheless, this plan only regulates the store owners’ income and does not really solve the real problem of inequality.
Nevertheless, this plan only restricts the earnings of store owners without really resolving the imbalance. Although no practicable solution is available at this moment, it sure seems to be the general consensus that something has to be done.
Written by Robin Koo (firstname.lastname@example.org)