The North-Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh has become the latest jurisdiction to restart lottery schemes. According to well-placed sources, the Arunachal Pradesh government has started new lottery schemes for generating revenues for various schemes and has permitted distributors to market various lottery schemes with effect from September 2015.
With the addition of Arunachal Pradesh, a total of nine states and one autonomous territory currently permit either online or paper lotteries or both. Maharashtra, Mizoram, Sikkim, Goa, Nagaland, Punjab, Kerala and West Bengal operate lottery schemes at present. With the exception of Kerala, all other states operate their lottery schemes through authorised distributors.
It is believed that sale of lottery tickets is a major source of revenue, especially for fund-starved North-Eastern states and a portion of lottery collections are used for various social schemes such as education, housing, agriculture, promotion of sports etc. Experts estimate that the total annual turnover from states where lotteries are legal is over Rs. 20,000 crores.
It may be noted that as per the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998, lotteries have to be conducted only by the state governments and not by private parties. State governments are free to either permit or prohibit sale of lotteries. However, state governments which conduct their own lotteries cannot ban the sale of lottery tickets from other states within their territorial jurisdictions.