Punjab govt to increase lottery draws, potentially allow off-course horse betting

The Akali-BJP government has increased the daily draw limit from 42 to 48 for state lottery operators, and may potentially allow betting on overseas horse races, according to local media.

“The right wing government has decided to bank on online lotteries and horse racing to earn money needed to fund the development works and offer sops, ahead of the Assembly elections next year, besides fulfilling its committed liabilities,” said local Indian newspaper The Tribune.

The government had reportedly already increased the draw limit from 30 to 42 a few months ago, as well as attempted to make online lottery a reality in the state, according to the Indian newspaper.

Annual revenue from lottery in the state is around Rs105 crore (US$15.3 million).

Attempts have also been made for equestrian enthusiasts so that a racecourse can be set up in Ludhiana. Sources in the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, who are behind the turf club reportedly said US-based Stronach Group, the only bidder for the project, had asked to be allowed to invite off course bids on horse racing events in the US for 18 months in order to check the viability of setting up a racecourse in Punjab.

The decision allowing the off course betting on horseracing or inviting fresh tenders is yet to be taken.