In-depth:Thai Government Lottery Quota
The Project aims to strengthen transparency, address corruption in public sector as well as open up opportunity for the disadvantaged.
The overpriced lottery tickets was a longstanding problem rooted in monopoly
and corruption in Thailand ever since the Government Lottery Office (GLO) has been established to supervise the printing of lottery tickets and be the sole distributor as well as sending money to the Ministry of Finance.
The Government Lottery Office Act of Thailand BE 2517(1974) which regulates management, control and supervision of the GLO states clearly on how the GLO should allot the money received from lottery selling. The lottery Law requires the GLO to set aside 60% of revenue to pay for the prize, allot 28% for the MoF and the balance of 12% for the GLO’s operation.
The GLO introduced a quota-based ticket system for decades, as a result, the quota fell into the handful of monopolistic wholesalers despite the allocation to charitable foundations and provincial administrations.
The GLO’s quota system favours five wholesalers who have been allocated a substantial portion of tickets for each draw. The tickets are then sold to dealers at a profit and resold to sub-dealers, also at a profit until they finally reach the hands of small vendors whose real cost per ticket is already higher than the 80-baht capped price against 72.80-74.40 baht per ticket sold by the GLO to the wholesalers,
charitable foundations and provincial administrations which altogether is the first tier of the distribution system.
The tickets sold to dealers who are at the second tier of the distribution system are as high as 82-84 baht apiece.
These wholesaler reportedly buy lottery tickets from other distributors including the GLO’s own Foundation which also receive a ticket quota allotment and resell them to smaller distributors who resell them to retail vendors.
During BE 2555 – 2557(2012-2014), lottery prices were unusual high at 100-120 baht per ticket, raising non formal profit at 25-45 bath per pair. In the year 2014, the GLO printed 37 million pairs at each of 24 draws, resulted in an approximated non-formal profit of around 20 billion baht.
The GLO system has given politicians opportunities to step as contracts with wholesalers are to renew every year. The quota system had been untouched for over decades. Moreover, formal money raised from lottery sales was misused in several events or project.
What makes this project innovative?
The longstanding problem of monopoly and corruption in lottery allocation is the beginning point motivated “Thaipublica”(Thaipublica.org) to investigate the GLO’s quota system. The 1st story of In depth:Thai Government Lottery Quota series (https://thaipublica.org/2015/05/government-lottery-office-act-3/) was published on 4 May 2015, following the successful request for disclosure of wholesalers, dealers name lists from the GLO by way of exercising the right to access to information as provided by the OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT, B.E. 2540
Thaipublica received a CD Rom carries a total of 37,560 names together with quota allotment in PDF file from the GLO. We thus mobilized our reporters and Apprentice University Students for to do “Big Data Cleanning”.
We use Excel program to examine relationship as well as orderly grouping by quota. We found that among five wholersalers, GLO’s Foundation has been allot the biggest portion.
Afterthat, Thaipublica has been supported by Electronic Transaction Development Agency(Public Organization) or ETDA, Boonmee Lab Co., Ltd., and Social Technology Institute. All these institutes collaborated to rejig such names and quotas into a new investigative news report or ” Data Storytelling” in a form of Data Visualization so that readers understand the complicated story easily.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in 2015 has used
Section 44 to address the problem of overpricing lottery ticket. The GLO’s board has decided to abolish the quota based ticket system.
The monopoly of the five wholesalers came to an end since then, and was replaced by the new system which allow small vendors place their ticket orders for each draw directly with Krungthai Bank branches.
Source and methodology
The CD Rom of Big Data which carried 37,560 names came in PDF file, mixed and hidden.
The raw Big Data has been cleaned and key in Excel program to sort relationship and filter group by quota orderly from highest to lowest. With this methodology, we can divided into several group, top 10 of big portion allocated by quota, top 20.More importantly, turn data into Insights and Stories.
Data Visualization of In Depth Thai Government Lottery Quota made Thaipublica the first mover among new media in Thailand that use Data Visualization to make news report more attractive, simpler to read.
Reporter Burakon Tipayasakulchai
Thaipublica team formed by 7 members.