Central Government has finally banned Sikkim lottery for two years in Kerala. Ban is imposed on Sikkim lottery because they were violating the Central Lottery Regulation Act. In 2004, Kerala state government raised the issue of lottery violations. The ban will come into force from today i.e. January 2, 2011.
The state government had started to put pressure on the Centre for a ban on other-state lotteries as early as in 2004. In 2006, Sikkim Lotteries applied for sales tax registration in the state. Later, following widespread complaints of violations of Central Lotteries (Regulation) Act, the State Government refused to collect advance sales tax from the lotteries.
Though the ban is being imposed on Sikkim Lotteries but people believe that it will not have any effect on the lottery market in Kerala.
The state government refused to collect sales tax from Sikkim lottery in 2009 as they were violating the rules but the agents didn’t stop the illegal trade of lottery in the state. A couple of police cases were also registered against these agents on the illegal two-digit and three-digit draws.
The State Lotteries Department had recently cancelled the agency of one of its leading agents after it was found carrying out the illegal trade of other-state lotteries.
Some also suspect that the Centre imposed ban on lottery agents so that it can give a clean chit to the agents of Sikkim Lotteries.
State government believes that current violations could only be controlled by strengthening the Lottery Monitoring Cell(LMC) which became inactive when case related to Lottery violation act were transferred to CBI.
The proposal related to strengthening of LMC submitted by the State Lotteries Department is being considered by the Taxes and Home Departments. “The new cell which will have senior-level police officials will help the government in controlling the illegal trade,’’ said a senior official of the Lotteries Department.