It’s a whole new Lotta game
DESPITE THE CONTROVERSY that has surrounded its selection as the preferred national lottery operator from the start and some threats of legal action by the losing bidders, the Gidani consortium says it’s on course to launch a revamped Lottery.
Given the controversy that has surrounded Government’s decision to award Gidani the lottery operating licence and the details unravelling regarding the chequered past of Gidani’s foreign partner, Intralot, Gidani isn’t leaving anything to chance. Intralot has apparently been sued by the Russian government for making off with a US$15m (R106m) advance payment to run the Russian national lottery, which the company failed to honour, and Intralot’s owner Socrates Kokkalis is facing a litany of charges in Greece, including allegations of espionage, fraud and money laundering.
That both Government and Gidani apparently failed to run a background check on Intralot’s credentials has riled both opposition politicians and losing bidders.
“We haven’t been distracted by the controversy and legal threats arising from our successful bid. Instead we’ve focused on preparing for the launch, which I’m confident, shall happen on 1 April. It’s understandable that losing bidders will feel aggrieved, but that’s not our worry,” says Gidani chairman Bongani Khumalo.
Among major changes being mooted to the current lottery format, is the addition of more terminals to extend the lottery’s footprint to areas previously underserviced by Uthingo and the introduction of new games in addition to the existing four, which include Lotto plus, Wina manje, Lotto and Sportstake.
Though reluctant to divulge more details, Khumalo says his consortium is currently engaged in talks with the Department of Trade and Industry with the view to adding more games.
Ours is different from Uthingo. Bongani Khumalo