Lotteries to Return via Newly Formed Belize Government Lotteries Limited (BGLL)
BELIZE CITY (November 2, 2023 — The iconic Boledo Lottery, along with the Ordinary and Jackpot Lotteries, is poised to make a return under the backing of the newly formed Belize Government Lotteries Limited (BGLL).
After a pause since earlier this year, the beloved national pastime is set to resume sales on December 1, with the much-anticipated first drawing scheduled for Sunday, December 3; so said a BGLL press release today.
The local biweekly newspaper AMANDALA reported the return follows a period of intense scrutiny and restructuring of the lottery system. The Belize Government, recognizing the cultural significance and the tax revenue the lottery brings in, tasked BGLL with the operation, sale, and promotion of the national lotteries, marking a departure from the previous private-run model.
The transition period began with a contentious halt of operations by Caribbean Gaming Company Limited (CGCL) back on June 8, following the Lotteries Committee’s decision not to renew its license due to alleged “non-compliance with licensing requirements and conditions.”
CGCL was accused of various breaches, including discrepancies in financial reporting and failure to facilitate the audit process. These issues were part of a wider problem identified with Brad’s Gaming Group Ltd., which also had its license revoked for “material and substantial breaches.”
The change in ownership and the increased governmental oversight came after significant public and political debate regarding the operation and administration of the lottery.
Questions arose about Brad’s Gaming Group’s compliance to its contract obligations, including accurate financial reporting and facilitating electronic purchases of lottery tickets. The exclusive contract signed with Brad’s, once referred to as a “sweetheart deal,” and the subsequent tax exemptions, were criticized by the current administration, which noted a substantial loss in potential tax revenue.
Amid these events, the Government’s Lotteries Committee embarked on an open tender process, resulting in the appointment of new Master Agents for the national lotteries, which include Nando’s Wholesale Ltd. for the Eastern Zone (Belize District), and MGM Entertainment Ltd. for the Northern Zone (Corozal & Orange Walk districts), Western Zone (Cayo District) and Southern Zone (Stann Creek & Toledo districts). This move is seen as a step toward remedying past compliance issues and improving the economic return of the lotteries for the government and the people of Belize.
The restoration of the Boledo Lottery is being met with excitement and anticipation by its dedicated patrons. Belizeans, especially ahead of the festive season, express a blend of joy and nostalgic anxiety at the idea of engaging once again in a tradition that for many is ingrained in the national identity.
“I feel very happy, especially with the time it is coming back. It is right around Christmas time, so that means I have a chance to win money in my pocket for the festivities,” one said.
“I feel nervous because I will always be thinking of what the winning numbers I should buy are, just like I used to,” another explained.
“I think it’s a good thing. I might pass by and buy it once it comes back,” another told us.
The lottery’s return signifies not just a reinstatement of a gaming tradition but a potential economic blessing for many hoping to strike it lucky during the holiday period. The government’s direct involvement promises greater accountability as we set to renew this Belizean tradition.
SOURCE: AMANDALA.Tags: Belize, Belize Government Lotteries Limited (BGLL), Caribbean Gaming Company Limited (CGCL)