Belgium’s National Lottery has seen a drop in sales of 30% since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, here, according to a spokesperson.
The loss of sales is attributed to the fact that people go out less and so play less, in an atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty. Newspaper shops remain open, but sales are down nonetheless.
The Lottery has decided to make some changes for the duration of the crisis.
Winning tickets will now be valid for a period of 30 weeks instead of 20 weeks at present, to take account, among other factors, of the possibility that a winner is unable to go outside or is even hospitalised.
Winners of sums of €100,000 have until now been obliged to present with their winning ticket at the headquarters of the National Lottery in Rue Belliard in the European quarter. For the time being, winners will be contacted by the Lottery who will send someone to pick up the ticket for verification.
Finally, to allow players to stay inside as much as possible, it is now possible to play for the next ten draws all at once.
As far as the owners of paper shops and other vendors are concerned, the Lottery will now pay out a commission for every ticket sold, disregarding the normal rule that allows for commissions only when a vendor takes in €100 or more in a week.
The Lottery will also supply vendors will new posters explaining the rules on safety inside shops, as well as providing a gift of €50 to pay for hand gel or gloves, or to go towards the installation of a plexiglass barrier at the counter.
“We want to do everything we can to ensure that players are not obliged to go into a newspaper shop to collect their winnings in these times of a health crisis,” Lottery spokesperson Joke Vermoere said.
The Brussels Times