Jamaican lotteries company in deal for operations here

-Forde says nothing finalised

Roysdale Forde

The Gaming Authority has signed an agreement with Jamaican lotteries company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) that is expected to see it setting up gaming operations in Guyana.

The Jamaica Observer revealed the deal yesterday in a report, ‘SVL to take bet on Guyana market,’ which said the lotteries company, in a statement to shareholders on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, informed them that the agreement with Guyana Gaming Authority is subject to a confidentiality clause and as a result it would make full disclosure of its plans for the market as soon as it permitted to do so.

The report suggested that the agreement should see SVL opening up gaming operations in Guyana.

However, when asked about the deal yesterday, Chairman of the Gaming Authority Roysdale Forde told Stabroek News that it is an “ongoing” process, while noting that the agreement has not been finalised.

“No it has not. They applied over a year ago to do gaming operations, put it that way. An agreement was signed but it is an ongoing process. It has not been concluded, it is an ongoing process. It is nothing final. They applied, they signed an agreement and there is an ongoing process,” he said in a brief comment.

It is unclear on what basis the agreement was signed and the Gaming Authority will likely face questions about the genesis of its arrangement with the operator.

The Observer report noted that Guyana will be SVL’s first venture outside of Jamaica not operated under the multi-jurisdictional licence, under which the company provides its Super Lotto game in eight Caribbean territories.

Of the $135 billion in revenue generated by gaming on the island for 2015/16, the Observer said SVL recorded revenue totalling $45 billion for its financial year ended 2016, a two per cent increase over prior year’s result. “The company noted in its financial report that the growth was mainly driven by Personal Identification Number (PIN) code products which grew 26 per cent. However, cash pot revenues fell by $429.214 million, attributable to a low payout trend,” the report said.

It added that Super Lotto continues to contribute positively to the company’s portfolio, with sales increasing by $22.735 million or 4 per cent in 2016.

According to the company’s website, SVL was formed in Jamaica in 1995 by the former Chairman Paul Hoo, Ian Levy and the late Peter Stewart.

It noted that in June of 2001, SVL launched its lottery operation, with its technology provider GTECH, now IGT (International Game Technology), while in 2003 it purchased its competitor, the Jamaica Lottery Company.

“The Company, which became listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on February 28, 2006, provides entertainment through Lottery Games, Sports Betting and Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs). The VLT arm of the business is operated under the Acropolis brand with the primary outlet in Kingston opening in July 2005,” it adds, while noting that in 2009, it became the first provider of a multijurisdictional lottery game, Super Lotto.

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