We’re not responsible for overpriced lottery tickets: Bluedragon
The owner of Bluedragon said on Wednesday that his company should not be blamed for overpriced lottery tickets as it "only provides an online platform for some 39,000 small vendors".
Executive Pachara Messiyaporn, 29, promptly held a press conference with his lawyer, Ananchai Chaiyadej, to dismiss allegations that his firm bought up some 2 million tickets for sales during each biweekly draw, thus leading to overpriced tickets.
The allegations were made by Seksakol Atthaworng, an assistant to a PM’s Office minister, and Pol Lt-General Surachet Hakpal, an assistant to the National Police chief.
Seksakol and Surachet led a team of police officers to comb through Bluedragon’s head office and branches on March 25. They discovered more than 2 million lottery tickets, which were reportedly duly seized.
Surachet alleged that Bluedragon overcharged buyers of tickets via its online platform by Bt20 to Bt30, causing the tickets to be overpriced nationwide.
Pachara said the allegations against his company were not fair and the searches caused “damage” to the firm.
He claimed his online platform only provided a venue for some 39,000 vendors to sell tickets so buyers could shop "more conveniently”.
Pachara insisted his company had nothing to do with setting of the prices and these were solely decided upon set by the vendors themselves, while buyers could browse through the vendor list to find prices acceptable to them.
Pachara also claimed his company received only Bt5 per lottery ticket as a scanning fee and providing the online platform service.
He explained that the Government Lottery of Thailand issued100 million tickets for each draw and 31 million are allocated for sale to its registered middlemen for distribution to associations, foundations, retail vendors and the handicapped. The remaining 69 million are handed to small vendors via an advanced booking system.
Pachara said several authorised and unauthorised middlemen resold tickets to retail vendors at inflated prices, prompting the vendors in turn to sell the tickets at higher prices.
When the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, small vendors suffered as buyers preferred not to purchase or even touch the tickets, so he initiated the Bluedragon platform to make it convenient for buyers to meet vendors, he explained.
Pachara said the scanned lottery tickets would be kept in a “strong room” of the company to prevent vendors from selling the tickets again after they are sold online.
He claimed that when a buyer agreed to purchase a ticket from a vendor, he or she would transfer money to the vendor’s bank account.
“So, the allegation that Bluedragon was the main cause for the overpriced tickets is not fair to the company. Everybody knows the stalls at the mouths of sois are already selling overpriced tickets,” he bemoaned.
Bluedragon is also a main sponsor of Thai League 3 football apparently because of the profits earned from the online platform.