|Taiwanese government has had all lottery tickets recalled. GTECH Holdings Corp, the world leader of lottery systems recommended the action, though insisted the problem would not affect any other region of its distribution. |
In a statement made by the company last Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal GTECH made it clear that the unsettling security breach was: “the product of unique circumstances that are not present in other jurisdictions.” Nevertheless GTECH felt it wise to warn national lotteries across the globe of the situation in Taiwan.
Normally players scratch a layer of ink off the tickets revealing a combination of winning symbols. Unique barcodes on the tickets are used by ticket sellers to authorize payouts. It is the barcode algorithm that GTECH believe has been compromised, meaning that crooked distributors could spot the winning tickets and pocket cash prizes for themselves.
Hundreds of thousands of the scratch lottery tickets were recalled. Scratch tickets are an important source of funds for governments in times of weakening economy. Government lotteries sold $27 billion of scratch tickets worldwide at the end of the fiscal year 2001. GTECH assure Taiwan that a fresh batch of uncompromised tickets will be ready for distribution in a few weeks.