Kerala government has ordered a probe by a special task force headed by Inspector General of Police Balram Kumar Upadhyay into complaints of lottery frauds involving single-digit lotteries in the state. Replying to a notice seeking adjournment motion on single digit illegal lotteries trade flourishing in the state, Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac informed the Assembly that government viewed the matter very seriously and stern action would be taken on the basis of the report of the STF.
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To take on the single-digit lottery operators, the state would telecast live the result of the draw of Kerala State Lotteries everyday, he said. “Government has an open mind on the issue. It has be to curbed. Government is ready to accept any suggestions from the Opposition side,” Issac said.
“The single-digit lottery, locally known as ‘written lottery’, is actually illegal betting. It is suspected that an organised group is behind the lottery which operates more in the Northern parts of the state,” he said. People become addict to this kind of betting quickly, he said.
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Seeking leave for the motion, V D Satheeshan (Congress) said it was operated online and through SMS messages. The ‘lottery mafia’ from other states were trying to gain strength in Kerala in a different form as they were pushed out of the state few years ago, he said.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala wanted the government to take stern action against single-digit lotteries as it has already started affecting the state-run lottery. He alleged that “benamis of lottery king Santiago Martin” were behind it.