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Panama’s National Charity Lottery: Hope and Hidden Trophies Among Issues of Transparency

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Hidden  Trophies in Panama Lottery


Posted 12/12/2019

The National Charity Lottery was established in 1919 to meet the pressing needs of the young country. The distribution of books of tickets was made with a social sense, so that humble people earned their livelihood. Over time, politics and clientelism appropriated this institution and turned the books into trophies, bargaining chips or political bribes. La Prensa asked the Director of the Lottery to know the identity of the holders of the books of the institution, and we were told that this was confidential, because it could represent a danger to the owners of the books. This declaration of confidentiality was established by the current government just weeks after entering into office. Why do you have to hide these names? Buyers of Lottery products complain about hoarding, conditional sale and even overpricing on chances and tickets. A dose of transparency in the management of the Lottery would be a great prize for the integrity of Panamanian politics. We need to know the identity of the holders of the books to be able to demand accountability on the allocation of these goods that belong to all Panamanians.- LA PRENSA, Dec, 12



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Transparency complaint lodged against Lottery boss


Gloriela Del Río

Posted 13/12/2019

A complaint  over the conduct of  the recently appointed  director of the National Charity Lottery (LNB)  Gloriela Del Río has been lodged with the Attorney General of the Administration,  by the lawyer Ernesto Cedeño

He said Friday that  the official “weakens the rules of transparency and  legally it is not feasible to prevent obtaining information on the programs developed by public entities, " they are public access, according to the law."

A whole controversy has been unleashed in the National Charity Lottery, and there is talk of hoarding books, the suspension of books already assigned and even threats to silence complaints.

These are large bags and suitcases, not exactly full of clothes, and this is also not  at the airport registration desk, but one of the agencies of the National Charity Lottery reports  La Prensa

According to the Ángela Ruiz Wallet, there are photos of people who work with them and they are the ones who remove large amounts of notebooks that are taken directly to the political center of San Miguelito. Recent VarelaLeaks reports claim that selling rights of books of lottery tickets have become political trophies that ex-president Juan Carlos Varela used to gain support for his party in the Legislature.

Ruiz, who sells  National Lottery, tickets  says that there are several frontmen who make up this network allegedly hoarding or controlling the sale of chances and official tickets. She e warns that books are being canceled, even for people with disabilities, and that they have sought mechanisms to cover irregularities.

Deputy Juan Diego Vásquez says it is  s inexplicable that the information on who owns the selling rights of books is confidential, especially if political leaders handle books of tickets, as reported by the newspaper La Prensa.



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Panama lottery buyers seek renewal of hope


Posted 17/07/2020

By Dafydd Young

Panama without lotteria is like a bird with no wings, baseball with no bats, Trump with no quiff and life with no hope say sellers and buyers calling for the drawings of the National Charity Lottery to be reactivated.

For three months and 16 days, scores of thousands of Panamanians have been without faith, hope, and charity in the absence of their twice-weekly fix. and the eternal hope that lady luck will return some of the money they have handed over to create 20,000  direct and indirect jobs, and give local governors the chance to flash their smiles during the televised draws.

Owners of selling “wallets”  claim that they have met with the Lottery authorities and even have a proposal for the Health Ministry to avoid contagions and crowds when they recommend opening., although the rush to the tables seem likely to outstrip the invasion of bars in the US  sunbelt states when  COVID-19 lockdown was eased.  

Julissa Camano, spokesperson for the Wallet owners explained that among the measures they propose are: acrylic separators, personal cleaning kits, plastic boards that can be easily sanitized, and distance between buyers. They also propose reducing the raffles to once a week which like early closing in a bar would concentrate the minds of customers or at best ease withdrawal symptoms.

In 2019  lottery sales contributed $120 million to the government,  plus support for numerous charities according to figures from the wallets who say they have survived during the closure on the government $80 bonds distributed to low-income workers.

Meanwhile, holders of winning tickets from the last draw have yet to collect their reward to enable them to renew hope of the big win.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama’s National Charity Lottery: Hope and Hidden Trophies Among Issues of Transparency

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