The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - VENEZUELA - BY AVIA COLLINDER

Ja­maica’s lot­tery com­pany, Supreme Ven­tures Lim­ited,

SVL, has con­verted the Sa­tro build­ing in Ge­orge­town, Guyana, into space for its video-gam­ing op­er­a­tion, which de­buts in that mar­ket next week.

The com­pany is li­censed to of­fer sport­themed gam­ing, and the mar­quee of the first iBet shop to be op­er­ated un­der two new sub­sidiaries — Supreme Ven­tures Guyana Hold­ings Inc and Supreme Ven­tures En­ter­prise Inc — is al­ready em­bla­zoned on the build­ing.

More shops are to be rolled out in 2019 as part of the re­tail net­work that SVL aims to build out in Guyana, a mar­ket in which SVL is also look­ing to gen­er­ate busi­ness for its newly ac­quired horse rac­ing op­er­a­tion, Cay­manas Park.

“To date, we have in­vested a lit­tle un­der $100 mil­lion in the start-up of the busi­ness, in­clud­ing the pur­chase of the iconic Sa­tro build­ing on Croal Street in Ge­orge­town, which will house a state-of-the-art gam­ing lounge space,” SVL Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Ann-Dawn Young Sang told the Fi­nan­cial Gleaner on Tues­day.

Sa­tro will house a bet­ting lounge on the first floor, which will host the horse rac­ing pun­ters and a bar; the sec­ond floor will be out­fit­ted with “next-gen­er­a­tion gam­ing ma­chines”; while the third floor of the three-storey struc­ture will house the com­pany’s ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices.

Although Supreme Ven­tures has part­ner­ships in var­i­ous Caribbean mar­kets for its Su­per Lotto game, Guyana is its first op­er­a­tional foray out­side Ja­maica. Guyana is it­self a South Amer­i­can coun­try, but it iden­ti­fies geopo­lit­i­cally as Caribbean, has mem­ber­ship in Caricom, and is home to the re­gional trad­ing bloc’s sec­re­tariat.

Young Sang says SVL is now “per­fectly po­si­tioned” to ex­pand beyond its home base, given the sta­tus of the Caribbean gam­ing mar­ket and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly Guyana, where large re­serves of oil have been dis­cov­ered.

“We looked closely at un­der­served or un­der­de­vel­oped gam­ing mar­kets across the re­gion, and iden­ti­fied those that would pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant growth op­por­tu­ni­ties,” said the gam­ing and lot­tery boss.

“A care­ful anal­y­sis of the English­s­peak­ing Caribbean showed that Guyana was an ex­cel­lent prospect, based on their eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors such as GDP growth and the im­mi­nent start of oil pro­duc­tion in the coun­try, which will drive sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.”

Supreme Ven­tures’ of­fer­ing in Guyana will in­clude bets on horse rac­ing in Ja­maica, where SVL now owns the sole horse rac­ing track, which it ac­quired less than two years ago, in March 2017, from the Ja­maican Gov­ern­ment.

“We will be bring­ing Ja­maican rac­ing from the his­toric Cay­manas Park to the Guyanese mar­ket, as well as Amer­i­can rac­ing from leg­endary tracks like Bel­mont Park, Saratoga and oth­ers,” said Young

Sang. British rac­ing will be in­cluded early next year.

The com­pany has en­tered into a broad­cast agree­ment with Sport­sMax that Young Sang ex­pects will “el­e­vate” the broad­cast qual­ity of the tele­vised races at Cay­manas Park to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

Supreme Ven­tures will also be in­tro­duc­ing pool bet­ting to Guyana, which, Young Sang says, pro­vides bet­ter pay­out op­tions for pun­ters who are cur­rently ser­viced by tra­di­tional book­mak­ers of­fer­ing fixed odds.

“This opens up the mar­ket to a much larger pool of bet­ting on races in Ja­maica and the US — the big­ger the pool, the big­ger the pay­out on win­nings,” the CEO said.

Ac­cord­ing to world­casi­nosin­dex. com, gam­bling in Guyana is a rel­a­tively small in­dus­try, where there are only two casi­nos in op­er­a­tion, plus a gam­ing com­pany called Guyana Lot­tery Com­pany, which is Cana­dian owned and of­fers games such as Lucky 3,

Lotto Supa 6, and Daily Mil­lions.

Supreme Ven­tures was formed in 1995 and is the Caribbean’s first provider of a mega-mil­lions multi ju­ris­dic­tion al lot­tery game, called Su­per Lotto, which is avail­able in eight coun­tries. It is the dom­i­nant gam­ing op­er­a­tion in Ja­maica with an­nual rev­enues of $56 bil­lion, and Young

Sang says the com­pany sim­i­larly aims to take pole po­si­tion in any mar­ket it en­ters, in­clud­ing Guyana.

“We will start in Ge­orge­town with the su­per­store, which we will fol­low with smaller scale gam­ing lounge op­er­a­tions. Our in­tent is to launch these smaller op­er­a­tions in and around Ge­orge­town and its en­vi­rons in 2019, fol­lowed by a more ex­tended foray into the ru­ral ar­eas across the coun­try go­ing into 2020,” she said.

Supreme Ven­tures Guyana and Supreme Ven­tures En­ter­prise will both be chaired by Wal­ter Scott, an at­tor­ney and for­mer chair­man of both Ja­maica’s Bet­ting Gam­ing & Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion and the Casino Gam­ing Com­mis­sion. The other direc­tors for both com­pa­nies are Young Sang, Ansell How­ell and Den­nis Chung, while Dwaine Roger Year­wood will be com­pany sec­re­tary.

SVL has also se­lected Stephen Sum­mers as Gen­eral Man­ager of Supreme Ven­tures En­ter­prise to run the op­er­a­tions in Guyana. Sum­mers has a 20-year track record in sales and mar­ket­ing, the gam­ing com­pany said.

Ann-Dawn Young Sang, Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Supreme Ven­tures Lim­ited

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