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VAT lottery to change

AFTER the reported decrease of participants in the National Receipt Lottery (NBL), the state-run lottery company Tipos is opting for changes that begin in late September, including daily broadcast drawings and an increase in the total number of winners.

Lottery aims to curb VAT evasion(Source: SME)

AFTER the reported decrease of participants in the National Receipt Lottery (NBL), the state-run lottery company Tipos is opting for changes that begin in late September, including daily broadcast drawings and an increase in the total number of winners.

“The receipt lottery will be more dynamic, amusing and open,” Tipos General Director Ladislav Kriška told the press on September 3. “It will bring more wins and will be in the media on a daily basis.”

There will be 408 winners in the NBL per month, of which 404 are related to the ordinary drawing and four of them will participate in the so-called TV Chance, a quiz show where they will compete for money and various prizes. At present, there are just 29 winners per month. The changes will reflect the people's demands, according to a survey ordered by Tipos from the Polis polling agency, conducted on 880 people between June 6-12.

“Most people preferred the possibility that more people would win [the lottery], understanding that the winning sums would be smaller,” Kriška told the press, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The National Receipt Lottery, launched in September 2013, encourages Slovaks to collect receipts from their purchases in shops and restaurants by allowing them to be converted into lottery tickets. The idea is to help curb VAT evasion, estimated at hundreds of millions of euros per year, largely through changing behaviour.

More than 85.4 million receipts were registered in the past 12 months. Tipos paid €960,000 in winnings, and gave away 21 cars and three vacations, Kriška told SITA newswire. According to the results of the Polis survey, around 32 percent of Slovaks participated at least once from September 2013 to June 2014 and 25 percent of them register their receipts regularly.

The changes

According to the current rules, to register a receipt with the national lottery the purchase has to be at least €1, and the receipt cannot be older than two months. Each receipt entered has three chances to win. The first drawing takes place every 14 days with the winning sums ranging from €10,000 for the first prize down to €100 for the 10th. In total, €20,000 in prizes can be won in one drawing.

The so-called second-chance drawing occurs every 28 days, with eight winners drawn, one from each of Slovakia’s regions. Winners receive a cash prize of €10,000 or goods worth the same value. Lottery winnings are not subject to taxation, according to the lottery website.

As of December 2013, there is also a third-chance drawing, which occurs every 28 days, with 150 winners and 150 stand-ins. Unlike the previous drawings, participation in this one is not automatic and people have to re-register. Those whose names are drawn then attend a TV show taking place once per week in which they can win various prizes. One person whose name is drawn during the show will win an extra prize worth several thousand euros, according to Tipos.

The new rules join the first and second chance drawings into one, called the NBL drawing. The drawing will be conducted once per week with 101 winners.

The first prize is estimated at around €10,000, while all other prizes are in the sum of €100. The NBL drawing will run on the principle of a progressive jackpot, meaning that the amount of the first prize depends on how many receipts were registered. Therefore, the first prize could actually be more or less than €10,000.

“This … principle, which will become part of NBL, will give the lottery the image of a real lottery,” Kriška said, “but it will remain non-commercial by definition.”

The drawing for a new TV show called “TV Chance” should take place every 28th day with 80 winners. The private network TV JOJ will broadcast the show every weeknight from Monday to Friday, where all 80 participants will have a chance to compete for prices and half of them will win something. Moreover, each week one participant will win €3,000.

“Tipos has been always interested in pushing the NBL to daily TV broadcast and now it happened in the form of the ‘TV Chance’ competition,” Tipos spokesman Rastislav Čépe told The Slovak Spectator.

Survey shows decreasing interest

The number of registered participants in the lottery increased from September 2013 to September 2014 from 147,000 to 457,000. The number of registered receipts is, however, lower than in past years. During the three and half months of 2013, participants registered 39.4 million receipts, while in the first eight months of 2014 they registered just slightly more – around 46 million. The exact numbers have not been published yet.

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