New lottery licence to be issued
Sabrina Gordon, Business Reporter
A new licence has been approved for another Jamaican lottery company, the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission confirmed on Tuesday, signalling the opening up of competition in a market that has been dominated by a single player for a decade.
BGLC said that while the licence has been approved for a company called Goodwill Gaming Enterprise Limited, it is yet to be issued.
"Yes, a lotto licence was granted. In fact, approval was given about a month and a half ago," said executive director of BGLC Derek Peart.
Final approval is subject to certain conditions being met.
"I am not privileged to say, but the conditions are standard requirements established for the granting of a lottery licence," Peart told Wednesday Business.
The people behind Goodwill Gaming include businessman Pradeep Vaswani, according to Companies Office records, which list him as the sole director.
Goodwill is owned by an offshore registered company called Punters Paradise Limited - the holder of Goodwill's sole ordinary share.
Vaswani is also listed as director of Punters Paradise Jamaica Limited along with Kingston businessman Stephen Jones. The 100 ordinary shares in Punters Para-dise Jamaica is held by Punters Paradise St Lucia.
Vaswani is better known as the operator of the retail clothing chain of stores Lerner Shop. Reached late yesterday, he said he was in a meeting and could not comment immediately.
The entry of a new player in the lottery market comes at an inconvenient time for Supreme Ventures Limited, which is struggling to regain momentum amid falling sales for its most popular game, a failed experiment with bingo, and disappointing results for the multi-country game Super Lotto.
The listed company, which is now 49.9 per cent Greek-owned, is also still tweaking its secondary line of business, gaming lounges, hoping to make it more profitable.
Lottery games combined bring in 87 per cent of revenue, which amounted to J$25 billion last year for the decade-old company, having peaked at J$28 billion in 2009.
SVL's biggest seller is Cash Pot - a game whose take dropped from J$19.3 billion in 2009 to J$16.8 billion last year. Cash Pot brings in 66 per cent of all revenue.
SVL was founded by Paul Hoo and partners a decade ago, and launched with its then flagship game lotto. Lotto now accounts for less than five per cent of revenue.
BGLC has approved at least two other lottery licences after SVL, including one to a company called Telefon International, but neither launched into business.