Game Over!
Goodwill lucks out as court blocks use of Big Pot trademark

Prime Sports (Jamaica) Limited (PSJL) scored a massive victory recently when the Supreme Court blocked its competitor Goodwill Gaming Enterprises Limited from using the Big Pot mark.

Prime Sports is a subsidiary of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) and operates the daily Cash Pot game along with other game offerings. Goodwill trades as Lucky Play and entered the gaming market in February 2021. Cash Pot has been in existence since June 2001 when SVL was launched alongside its Lucky 5 game. Big Pot was introduced on Lucky Play's entry and is drawn six times a day like Cash Pot.

In November 2021, Prime Sports filed an application for an interlocutory injunction to stop Lucky Play from using the Big Pot mark until a final determination was made at the trial of the claim. According to lawinsider.com, an interlocutory injunction means a court order made during the trial to compel or prevent a party from doing certain acts pending the final determination of the case.

The case, which was heard by Justice Lisa Palmer on July 29, resulted in a judgement being granted in favour of Prime Sports and prevents Lucky Play, the defendant, from infringing on Prime Sports Cash Pot trademarks under 15 different registered numbers and passing off the Big Pot game in the course of trade. The order limited Lucky Play from carrying out advertisements and promotions with anything similar to the Cash Pot logo, which includes a golden pot with money spilling over and a green and gold colour scheme, until the trial or further orders from the court. The case was heard in the commercial division of the Supreme Court via video conference.

The leave to appeal was also refused and the Prime Sports lawyers are to prepare, file, and serve the orders made within the injunction. Prime Sports was represented by Kathryn Pearson and Analiese Minott of Livingston, Alexander and Levy, attorneys-at-law, while Lucky Play was represented by Matthew Royal and Helen Liu of Myers, Fletcher and Gordon.

For Cash Pot, players wager a bet by selecting a number from one to 36 subject to a minimum bet of $10. If the number is selected at the drawing, the player wins $260 for every $10 wagered. The offering also has a Mega Ball and the recently introduced Monsta Ball which results in players betting additional funds and collecting a larger payout if the Mega or Monsta Ball is selected. Thus, a player would be able to win nearly $2,000 from a $30 bet on all three balls.

For Big Pot, players would win $300 for every $10 wagered if their number between zero and 36 is selected. They could also win an additional $800 if the Thunda Ball was drawn which would be earned by betting an additional $10 wager.

When the Jamaica Observer called Goodwill's offices, we were told that they would not be commenting on the matter. Its website lists sports and slots as coming soon products which are yet to be launched.

Lucky Play is majority owned by businessman Ian Dear with Pradeep Vaswani as the other shareholder. Dear is the chairman of the Tourism Product Development Corporation and founder, chairman, and CEO of the Margaritaville Caribbean Group Limited (MCGL). MCGL has a 67.31 per cent stake in Express Catering Limited and 49.1 per cent stake in Margaritaville (Turks) Limited, which are both listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

Mahoe Gaming Enterprises Limited is the other player which was granted a gaming licence to operate in the multi-billion-dollar lottery space last year. Its board includes chairman Michelle Myers Mayne, president and CEO Christopher Caldwell, Lise-Anne Hoo Harris, and PB Scott. It trades under the Izizzi brand in the market. Izizzi offers 1 Drop, HaTTrik, 4Play, Lucky Day Lotto, and Quickie games.

SVL's lottery segment has grown by 22 per cent to $12.06 billion in the first six months of 2022, with the segment result rising by 31 per cent to $2.02 billion. Gross ticket sales for the second quarter grew 21 per cent to $28.3 billion, with gaming income up 18 per cent to $12.8 billion. SVL's total assets climbed to $18.33 billion with equity attributable to shareholders of $4.27 billion at the end of June.

Xesus Johnston is the CEO of Prime Sports, which generates the core income for SVL and has been diversifying itself into other spaces such as microcredit services and sports betting. SVL's business surpassed $1 billion in net profit for an entire quarter in the first quarter with its six months earnings at $1.63 billion. Its stock price is also up 64 per cent year to date at $29.14, which gives it a market capitalisation of $76.85 billion.

Xesus Johnston is the Chief executive officer of Prime Sports (Jamaica) Limited.
Prime Sports Jamaica's cash pot logo.
Lucky Play's Big Pot logo.
BY DAVID ROSE Observer business writer davidr@jamaicaobserver.com

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