South Africa will use the proceeds from its first national lottery for charities, housing and the arts, Reuters reports.
But the government faces concerns that it will favor its own charities in distributing lottery winnings, the news service says.
The South African government instituted the lottery to raise badly needed cash for anti-poverty programs.
Thirty percent of lottery revenues will go to the government for “good causes,” with the rest going to prizes and administrative costs.
The opposition Democratic Party has criticized the lottery because the government has closed competing lotteries run by dozens of independent charities.
“Charities that have run their lotteries well will now have to go cap-in-hand to the government and the ANC government will favor its own charities,” Nigel Bruce, a Democratic Party member of parliament, told Reuters.
The government estimates that the lottery will raise $156 million a year for charity.