Sabah lottery outlets open today, enjoy brisk business, until authorities pulls shutters

A lottery outlet shut down by authorities in Sabah June 17, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Harland Darau
A lottery outlet shut down by authorities in Sabah June 17, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Harland Darau

KOTA KINABALU, June 17 — Following operation in the peninsula, lottery outlets here opened today, but were told by the authorities to shut again after just a few brief hours of brisk business.

Queues of between 50 to 80 people formed as early as 8am at lottery outlets like Sabah Lotto 88 and Sports Toto in Donggongon township until the police and local government officers arrived about 10am.

“It’s not an offence, rather a miscommunication,” Penampang district police chief Haris Ibrahim said.

He explained that while lottery operators in the peninsula had received letters from the federal Finance Ministry to reopen for business, those in Sabah had yet to get official permission from the state government on their operations.

“But this is on hold until we receive further directive from the state,” Haris said, adding that the operators were cooperative in shutting down operations after being approached.

He said that his team had started their operations around 10am after he noticed the lottery outlets operating in the township.

Some outlets like Diriwan and STC had planned on opening at noon, but later heard of the restrictions.

The state, an opposition government, has differed from the federal government on several policies in regards to the movement control orders, mostly instilling stricter operation hours and standard operating procedures.

As of today, there has been no announcement from the Sabah government on lottery operations.

“We don’t know when they will issue a directive, but for now we have to assume they are to be closed and we can just wait,” said Haris.

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