Turks spend more on lottery games

Turks spend more on lottery games

ANKARA / SOFIA - Anatolia News Agency
Turks spend more on lottery games

A crowd wait in front of a popular national lottery tickets booth in central Istanbul. The highest prize for the new year’s draw is 45 million liras. Hürriyet photo

Turks spent 1.13 billion Turkish Liras on lottery tickets in the first nine months of the year, a 6.5 percent increase from the same period in 2011. Nearly 570 million liras of this sum were distributed as lottery prizes.

State-run lotteries provided 479 million liras toward public finances, according to official data gathered by Anatolia news agency. This accounted for 201.8 million liras for the Treasury in value added taxes. The rest was shared by a group of state bodies involved in the defense industry, tourism and child welfare, as well as the Olympic Games bid committee.

The largest financial increase was seen in a scratch-card game, the tickets of which are very cheap and the prizes granted immediately. Revenues from this particular game increased 71.9 percent to over 115.17 million liras in the first nine months.

These figures do not include “iddaa,” the sole legal sports gambling game.

Around 50 new gambling points were opened in Bulgaria, attracting tourists from a group of countries including Turkey, according to data provided by the neighboring country’s gambling commission. There are 844 locations where people gamble or play lucky-draws in the country of 7.5 million people. Only 26 of these are casinos; others are mostly gambling saloons. Some 4,000 gambling sites serve the entire Bulgarian market, according to the data. Gambling is most popular in the cities of Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Haskovo, Bourgas and Plovdiv, and Turks, Israelis and Chinese lead gambling tourism in the country.