Mumbai: The case pertaining to Rs 933 crore loss due to the illegal sale of state lottery will be transferred to the CBI, the Maharashtra government said today.
State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, while replying to a question in the Legislative Council, said that the unauthorised sale of lotteries has caused a loss of around Rs 933 crore to the state exchequer in the last few years.
"The case is currently being investigated by the EOW (Economic Offences Wing), but will now be transferred to the CBI in the next couple of months as the amount involved is huge," he said.
Nationalist Congress Party MLC Hemant Takle said if the government considers launching an online lottery system, it should bear in mind its pros and cons.
In response to a question, Mungantiwar said that in the current year, the government has earned Rs 111 crore through lottery tax.
"The government has lost a lot of revenue due to illegal sale of lottery tickets. However, the government now wants to make lotteries a sound source of revenue. Sale of lotteries was started in 1969 to divert youth from gambling. However, after the Centre's regulation post 1998, many states have started selling online lotteries that has affected the state exchequer.
"We will now seek opinion of all political parties, MLAs and MLCs and social activists before launching the Maharashtra state online lottery," Mungantiwar said.
The Maha-Lotto Online lottery, which was started in 2002-03, lasted only for four months and the second attempt at online lottery involving Ms Martin Lottery Agency lasted only for 14 months.