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HomeLatest News“More winners, more joy”: How is growing anxiety affecting the lottery market?

“More winners, more joy”: How is growing anxiety affecting the lottery market?

Date: August 20, 2022 Time: 05:53:51

Ekaterina Tuton

Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA


– Ekaterina, how does the lottery industry feel in the current conditions?

– There is a misconception that when various complex events occur, people begin to actively buy lottery tickets. Actually, it is not. The lottery is fun. People tend to have fun when things are going well, when everything is calm, when they are a bit bored… As we see today, lotteries have become a familiar entertainment for Russians, especially when we talk about digital consumption. Today we compete in the consumer’s wallet with online movie theaters, computer games, and mobile app games. The trend of buying electronic lottery tickets continues, their share of sales is growing. At the same time, printed tickets are also sold, they are distributed at more than one hundred thousand outlets in 85 federal subjects of the Russian Federation, and you can make a profit on 45 thousand points.

– An interesting story: recently a new lottery “Big Sportloto” appeared. How many people have already participated in it?

– We hope this will be our new flagship product. Sportloto has a great history. 70% of the population of the Soviet Union knew and loved Sportloto.

– My dad used to play it regularly…

– Everyone knew a wonderful movie, the first memes, songs, everything related to this. But in our line of lotteries, Russian Lotto has been more popular so far. This is a purely Russian invention, there is no such lottery with barrels anywhere in the world, and it took first place in terms of popularity. But we expect Bolshoe Sportloto to become the second flagship. Because it’s interesting? It has an increased prize fund, that is, the main prize is 300 million rubles. A few more prize categories and a larger overall prize pool, higher than the prize pool in many lotteries. Then it should bring more victories, there should be more winners, and consequently more joy.


– How does the State control their activities?

– Trust is key. It is clear that no one will buy lottery tickets without trusting the lottery process. I remind you that since 2014 all lotteries in the country are state lotteries, the organizer of the lotteries is the Secretary of Sports and the Secretary of Finance, everything is controlled by the Federal Tax Service. It controls both the holding and the payment of profits. The largest lottery operator GSL is included in online tax monitoring. The company TK Center, owner of the Stoloto brand, is also included in the online tax tracking.

Let me tell you, if you allow me, a little bit about how everything happens online. This is an amazing, interesting and very complex IT process. Every time you buy a lottery ticket at the checkout, you will definitely receive a tax receipt and all tax data will be entered into the FTS database. That is, at this time the sale of a lottery ticket is recorded. This is one of the checkpoints. Also, when selling a lottery ticket, the same data, along with the game combination you have chosen, enters the lottery system, which is located at the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Sports. It takes into account all the tickets sold and guarantees that only the tickets sold can participate in the draw, because it is from the tickets sold that the prize fund is formed, from 50 to 70%. Because according to our law, how is the lottery different from gambling? The fact that the prize fund is necessarily played and, for example, if it was accumulated during the year, but not withdrawn (super prize or jackpot), it must necessarily be played at the end of the year. Whereas in gambling, if no one wins, all the winnings go to the organizer.

The Federal Tax Service verifies how the payments of winnings are made, how the accounting and control of the draw protocols are carried out. Similarly, the quarterly transfers of targeted withholdings are controlled, which, at the end of 2021, from the distribution of tickets under the Stoloto brand amounted to 2,600 million. And the total deductions: taxes, fees and specific deductions from the distribution of state lottery tickets in 2021 amounted to 7.5 billion! For comparison. It is known that the state spent 7 billion rubles on the trip of the Olympic team to the Olympics. Another 400 million was spent on anti-covid measures. That is, in total it amounted to 7,400 million. Thus, for 2021, deductions for lottery activities amounted to 7.5.


– In Soviet times, Sportloto funds went to the development of sport: the same stadiums were built in preparation for the 1980 Olympics and other projects… It turns out that now lottery funds also go to finance the sport?

– Very well. This is explained in detail in the 138th federal lottery law. All lotteries in our country are held to replenish the federal budget and are used to finance sports, special events for the development of sports, support for the Olympic team and elite sports.

– How high is the activity of scammers trying to imitate state lotteries now?

– You know, the safety of lottery participants is, of course, the most important thing for us. Because this is a key and basic security rule. For example, all Russian user data of our members has always been stored only on Russian servers, there has never been any cross-border data transfer. Monitoring together with our partners in cybersecurity, law enforcement, monitoring of fraudulent resources is carried out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Of course, the participants themselves must remember the rules of digital hygiene. Do not disclose your personal data, do not lose sight of which resources send you SMS or emails, because a character may differ, and you will think that it is an official source. But the most important rule is to remember, first of all, that you can’t win the lottery if you didn’t buy a lottery ticket. The second is that state lotteries never, under any circumstances, require participants to pay anything for winnings. Since all taxes are transferred from earnings, amounts up to 4 thousand rubles do not require payment of taxes at all. If during the year the total winnings of a participant in state lotteries amounted to 4,000 to 14,999 rubles, the winner is obliged to independently notify the tax service and pay taxes on the winnings. If the amount of winnings is 15 thousand rubles, we are a tax agent, we transfer taxes before payment of winnings, no matter how large the winnings are. And we already transfer all profits minus taxes, which is 13% up to 5 million and 15% – more than 5 million rubles.


– Last question. How do you think the lottery industry will develop in the near future?

– It is quite obvious that the trend towards digitization, digitization will continue. We see an influx of young people, because this is an understandable and convenient tool for them. Although printed tickets continue to enjoy the same popularity and are one of the most popular gifts. Especially for different holidays. So I think safety will continue to be a major trend and of course once we’re all a little less anxious we’ll go ahead and start having more fun and of course having joyous emotions by entering and winning the lottery.


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