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Saigon lottery firm secures optimistic growth despite American-style rival

Saturday, December 22, 2018, 19:10 GMT+7
Saigon lottery firm secures optimistic growth despite American-style rival
Le Quang Vinh, general director of Ho Chi Minh City Lottery Company, speaks at a ceremony marking the company’s 40th anniversary on December 21, 2018.

Although the launch of American-style computerized lottery Vietlott in 2016 was forecast to be the doom of traditional lottery in Vietnam, the country’s biggest lottery company based in Ho Chi Minh City has proved a tough one to beat by reporting two-figure profit growth this year.

The Ho Chi Minh City Lottery Company Ltd. netted a record pre-tax profit of over VND1,047 billion (US$44.8 million) in 2018, a growth of 18.7 percent year-on-year.

Its year-round revenue was more than VND8,228 billion ($352.2 million), up 8.2 percent from 2017.

The state-run company said it contributed over VND2,690 billion ($115.1 million) to the city budget this year, which was 11.9 percent of the southern metropolis’ budget collection goal.

The optimistic numbers were released at a ceremony on Friday marking the 40th anniversary of the Ho Chi Minh City Lottery Company.

Speaking at the ceremony, the firm’s general director Le Quang Vinh said business outcomes in 2018 exceeded all expectations.

Vinh was likely speaking the truth, considering the fact that just last year his company reported its worst performance since 2013, netting only VND480 billion ($20.5 million) in the first six months of the year in pre-tax profit, with revenue between January and June rising less than two percent.

“The people’s interest in traditional lottery is not lost,” Vinh said.

The optimistic growth was made possible in part because of the company’s efforts to restructure its organization and cut down on costs of sales and management, the general director stressed.

Vinh said the Ho Chi Minh City lottery company is looking to launch scratch-off lottery tickets, the first of its kind in Vietnam, starting January 2019 to target a new customer segment and remain competitive on the market.

Each scratchcard is printed either to be a winner or not, and lottery players must scratch off a scratchable area to reveal the result.

The new game is expected to bring fresh air to the lottery market in Vietnam with valuable and easy-to-win prizes.

In May 2017, company executives said in a business report that it was losing out to Vietlott, a then-new player in the market.

Vietlott has received an enormous amount of media attention since introducing the U.S.-style Mega 6/45 computerized lottery in July 2016.

It is fully owned by Vietnam’s finance ministry, with technical support from a Malaysian firm.

The lottery’s minimum jackpot is VND12 billion (US$513,000), which is rolled over into subsequent drawings until a winner is found.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s traditional lottery offers tickets with predetermined numbers printed on them and a top prize of VND2 billion ($85,600), which was increased by 33 percent in early 2018 in a bid to make it more attractive.

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Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre News

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