Punjab clears online lotteries,law to allow race courses in state

Punjab on Tuesday became the third state in the country after Goa and Sikkim to introduce an online lottery.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: May 28, 2013 9:26 pm

Punjab on Tuesday became the third state in the country after Goa and Sikkim to introduce an online lottery. The state cabinet also cleared a law to facilitate the setting up of race courses in Punjab.

The online lottery will be organized,conducted,operated and regulated as per the Lottery Regulation Act,1998,and Punjab State Lotteries Rules,1998.

“The Punab state online lottery will offer games through a network of computer terminals or other devices at retail locations,which will be connected to a central data centre,” Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said.

The government will appoint a distributor or selling agent,chosen through tenders and a monitoring committee,to set up and manage the lottery,he said.

The lottery will be available in all states where lotteries are legal. “We are expecting at least Rs 300 crore from the bidding,” Dhindsa said.

The Punjab Horse Race (Regulation and Management) Act,2013,which will be enacted through an ordinance,provides for the setting up,management and operation of race courses,betting activities and intermediaries. The law also covers the licensing,regulation,control and management of races,as well as the maintenance of horses and training of jockeys.

“A race course can be run by the Punjab government or a private party. Private parties would have to apply to the government under this act for a licence. The running of the race course will be regulated by the government. Other than betting on races within the race course,the act also provides for off-course betting by someone who might be watching the race at another location,” principal secretary (Home),D S Bains,said.

The proposed law provides for penalties including imprisonment of up to a year.

The first race course is being planned at village Mattewara near Ludhiana. The 300-acre course will be part of a 1,000-acre tourism hub. Punjab Infrastructure Development Board will execute the project in the PPP mode.

“Other than a race course,the tourism hub will also have an amusement park,a water park and a five-star hotel. Some residential component has also been introduced in the plan to make the project economically viable,” PIDB managing director Anurag Aggarwal said. The course will have a polo club and an astro turf club apart from horse stalls and a riding centre.

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