BUSINESS

Lottery briefs: Amaya’s Montenegro deal, AGTech acquires Shenzhen Silvercreek

TAGs: AGTech, Amaya Gaming, Fortuna Entertainment Group, New Zealand Lotteries, Sazka, Shenzhen Silvercreek

amaya-agtech-sazka-fortunaCanada’s Amaya Gaming has signed a lottery and online gaming collaboration and technology license agreement with Lutrija Cme Gore, the national lottery of Montenegro. The five-year deal calls for Amaya to provide technology and operational support for both traditional and SMS lotteries, and establishes Amaya as the exclusive operator for online gaming on behalf of Lutrija Cme Gore in exchange for a percentage of the profits. This is the first European deal for Amaya, which has previously entered into business tie-ups in Kenya and the Dominican Republic. (Two more continents and they get a free sandwich.)

AGTech Holdings, the Hong Kong- and Macau-based sports lottery software and systems developer, has completed its acquisition of Shenzhen Silvercreek Digital Technology Company Ltd. for HK$86.87m (US$11.1m). Shenzhen Silvercreek, a telephone and mobile lottery services provider, has deals with lotteries in six Chinese provinces (Hunan, Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Ningxia and Yunnan). AGTech will pay HK$43.4m “upon completion of the acquisition with a lock-up period of six months” with the balance coming due in three years time. AGTech Chairman and CEO John Sun believes the “transaction will significantly strengthen our leading position in China’s lottery market.”

The woes of insolvent Czech lottery operator Sazka AS got a little worse on Wednesday when it announced plans to immediately cease all lottery activities. The admission that it couldn’t continue operations was made in a letter to the Finance Ministry and its bankruptcy trustee. A creditors’ meeting scheduled for Thursday was pushed back a day to give the Prague Municipal Court more time to assess the validity of individual claims from creditors as to voting rights. Sazka’s exit from the lottery game is seen as a major boon to fixed-odds betting operator Fortuna Entertainment, which launched scratch cards on May 16 and plans to launch its jackpot game in mid-July.

For a glimpse into how massive some of these lottery outfits are, consider that the New Zealand Lotteries’ 2010 annual report pegged it as the fourth most profitable New Zealand business and the 40th largest by turnover. In the coming financial year, NZ Lotteries expects total sales to hit NZ$860m (US$703m), representing 0.43% of New Zealand’s GDP. Lucky numbers, indeed…

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