City Hall has found a new way of taxing the credulity of the poor. Instead of gaming halls, which are to be banned from Jan. 1, 2008, gamblers are being offered a state lottery alternative.

Funds raised through the lottery will be used to finance social projects, local officials claim. Nevskoye Loto lottery was inaugurated on May 27 this year with the backing of the Committee for Economic Development, Industrial Policy and Trade (CEDIPT).

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31 Jul 2007