Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Lottery losses - Illegal games biting into Supreme Ventures business

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM
George

The nation's top gaming company, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), is expressing renewed concerns about the impact of illegal lottery sales on its business.

Brian George, president and chief executive officer of SVL, says the company continues to face the challenge of an aggressive and expanding illegal lottery market.

According to George, while SVL acknowledges the arrests of persons involved in illegal gaming (23 arrests over the last 15 months), it is concerned that over the last 10 years no major illegal operator has been arrested.

"This has led to the conclusion, for many, that improvement in the intelligence and investigative capacity of the regulator needs to be put in place," added George.

The SVL boss also alluded to the amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) in 2014, which have had an impact on its operations.

The amendments now enable SVL's main operating subsidiary, Acropolis Gaming, to be deemed a designated non-financial institution, which means POCA guidelines are now applicable to gaming lounges and they are obligated to report suspicious transactions.

"As far as government organisations are concerned, the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) has also made the operations of SVL less cumbersome.

"Over the last five years, the BGLC has successfully facilitated growth within the industry, which led to the faster approval of new games and promotions," said George.

TOTAL REVENUE

In the just-ended financial year, SVL reported total revenue for the group of $43.8 billion, representing a 6.14 per cent increase relative to prior year, while total revenue from lottery games and pin codes increased by $2.7 billion or 6.7 per cent.

Sales from the lottery segment totalled $36.8 billion, a three per cent or $1.05 billion increase over the previous year.

"Supreme Ventures Limited is looking forward with high hopes. The company is implementing strategies that it believes will grow its overall revenue as well as fill all gaps in the market," said George.

SVL is now in the negotiations and contracting phase of the Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) assets acquisition, but George has refused to disclose specific financial terms of the bid, stating that SVL is currently in discussions with the Government and is bound by a confidential agreement.

The Government issued an invitation to bid for the privatisation of CTL last May and SVL was chosen as the preferred bidder, and selected an option for a lease of 30 years of the land and purchasing of the operating assets.