Business

Local Sport Betting Has $10-B Potential

SVL boss says the subsector can create 1,000 jobs

Sunday, June 01, 2014    

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BRIAN George reckons that the local sports betting market is potentially worth as much as $10 billion.

The president and CEO of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) also figures that the sector could add another 1,000 jobs if allowed to grow unhindered.

Indeed, the lottery and gaming company managed to grow revenue through its JustBet brand from $43 million in 2010 to $266 million last year, despite delays in changes to Government regulations.

What's more, sports betting was up by 24 per cent in the first quarter of 2014.

But the 28 company-owned sports betting locations SVL operates across the island is a far cry from the over 1,000 agents it has in Jamaica.

Approval for Sunday sports betting in designated lounges likely expanded the earning potential for the gaming company.

But last week's parliamentary nod given to amendments to the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act, which will allow for the expansion of third party contracted sports betting terminals, is expected to catapult the sports betting market

SVL had already set in motion plans to aggressively roll out an additional 300 sports betting terminals in current lottery outlets, in anticipation of the legislative changes and a vibrant FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.

But the Betting, Gaming and Lottery Commission still has to give the company the go ahead to flip the switch on the new terminals.

At the same time, the first whistle blows on June 12 in Brazil, which means that the window of opportunity for a likely cash windfall for Supreme Ventures is closing fairly quickly.

Nevertheless, SVL vice president, group corporate communications Sonia Davidson said that preparations already being made enables the company to act swiftly.

The changes to sports betting regulations also allow licensed operators to offer sports wagers via telephone and text.

However, Davidson said that SVL is currently focusing on rolling out in retail locations.

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