Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce on Boledo Lottery Agents Concerns

Belmopan. March 28, 2019. The Lotteries Committee and the ministry with responsibility for Investment, Trade, and Commerce, in response to media sources circulating a complaint from a purported Lottery Agent, would like to share the information below:

The Lotteries Committee and Government of Belize awarded, through a competitive tender process, an exclusive ten-year lotteries license to Brads Gaming Company Limited located on #2 Farmers Market, Belize City, Belize on April 16th, 2010. The main objectives were to increase the efficiency in which the lottery is administered and operated and to work towards the elimination of unregulated and illegal sale of lottery. The license granted is to promote, hold and conduct the Government Lotteries, namely, “Boledo Lottery”, “Jackpot Lottery” and “Ordinary Lottery”.

Prior to 2010, revenue from lotteries to the Government amounted to approximately three hundred thousand Belize dollars (BZ$300,000.00) which was in a downward trend over the years due to the uncontrolled illegal sale of lotteries. This total revenue earned by Government has increased significantly after the outsourcing to a total of two million Belize dollars (BZ$2,000,000.00) from license fees in addition to revenues collected annually in the form of business tax from the company managing the Government Lotteries and its agents.

A key component under the license is to phase in new technologies to make the sale of lottery tickets electronic in order to decrease the cost of printing wastage and to ensure that the lotteries are taxed accurately. Brads Gaming Company has reported that there is a total of 400 lottery agents across Belize. Of these only 40 agents located in the Orange Walk District and three agents in the Cayo District are still using the paper system. The transition plan and education system are still being implemented in the Orange Walk and Cayo districts, while the other districts can be considered as being fully electronic.

As the ministry with the responsibility for Government Lotteries, the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Commerce continues to assess the implementation process to finalize the transition from the paper-based sale of tickets to an efficient electronic system. This will allow the Ministry to ensure that the transition continues and, as much as possible, reduces any cultural shocks and negative impacts to all existing lottery agents.