SVL targets social gaming space

BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant Business Co-ordinator

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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SUPREME Ventures Limited (SVL) says it is looking at introducing social space gaming in an effort to diversify its product portfolio. The gaming company made the disclosure in its 2013 annual report, which was released on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Monday.

"Social space gaming is typically games that are available in bars and pubs, where you are doing something else, and if games are there that are engaging, you will participate in the game but it is not your primary reason to having been in that location in the first place," SVL CEO Brian George explained to the Business Observer yesterday.

It would represent a different market segment for SVL, which already has a presence in the traditional retailer gaming (such as lotteries) and destination gaming (such as gaming lounges) spaces, according to George.

Social space gaming includes pre-recorded horseracing and virtual horseracing, the annual report said. George noted that the company was still in its exploration stages for social gaming and therefore unable to give specific details at the moment.

"This is very much new to our discussion and clearly there will be a lot of work to ensure that we engage the BGLC (Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Commission) and do the appropriate research to make sure there is player acceptance, but it is a concept that we are embracing and a concept that we will be pursuing," he said.

SVL posted a 55 per cent decline in net profits last year despite higher sales in most of its gaming products. Annual revenue grew 15 per cent to $34.1 billion during the year ended December 31, 2013, led by a 21 per cent rise in Cash Pot sales to $23 billion.

But SVL's net profit dipped by 55 per cent as direct expenses jumped by a fifth to $30.8 billion. Additionally, lottery and gaming taxes were 13 per cent higher, contributions and the regulator's levies rose by 84 per cent, and service contractor fees were up by 26 per per cent primarily due to the devaluation of the local currency.

In its annual report, the gaming company said it plans to keep expenses under control through steps such as the consolidation of its corporate offices. Last month the company’s regional retail centre on Half Way Tree Road was amalgamated with its VLT operations just a few metres down the street, with the measure expected to result in savings in lease, security and maintenance expenses.

What’s more is that the company said it plans to pursue various strategies to expand the lottery business, including the potential introduction of a new game. There are also plans to upgrade gaming lounges in the Kingston Metropolitan Area and introduce a wider variety of sporting events and betting options for customers to bet on, the company said.

"The Board and management team of the Supreme Ventures Group remain optimistic that the business will be successful in achieving our strategic objectives for 2014. This will positively impact returns for our shareholders," the company said.

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