Business

SVL launches in Guyana

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 08, 2019

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In what has been described as a “historic and groundbreaking move”, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) officially opened the doors to its new Guyana operations in the capital city, Georgetown, on January 31.

The venue will operate under the brand name, iBET Supreme, and marks the first time the company has ventured outside of its home country, by entering the Guyana market with a mandate to provide the public with more gaming, betting and lottery options.

According to SVL, Guyana was chosen for several reasons, chief among which is its positive economic trend, with all indicators pointing to further growth along the current trajectory.

It also pointed out that Guyana is also an excellent prospect as its GDP growth, in addition to other financial indicators, points to sustained economic growth and a bright future for its people.

“We pride ourselves on identifying growth opportunities, both inside and outside of Jamaica, and it is not by accident, but after careful assessment, it was decided to open our first location here in Guyana,” explained SVL's President and CEO Ann Dawn Young Sang.

She noted that with the establishment of Supreme Ventures Enterprise (SVE), individuals and communities will see an improvement in their social welfare, based on the company's track record of contributing heavily to the betterment of the country.

In Jamaica, the company has contributed more than $16 billion to support health, education, sports development, the arts, and culture, giving back to the communities they serve, since it was formed in 1995 by its founding directors — Paul Hoo, Ian Levy and the late Peter Stewart.

The company launched its Jamaican operations with 28 employees and two out of the three games it was licensed to offer — Lucky 5 and Cash Pot. Since then it has expanded the experience to include 11 lottery games through a network of 1,200 agents, JustBet and QuickSports sports betting products, the Acropolis Gaming Lounge and employs more than 300 people. SVL also includes wholly owned subsidiary Prime Sports (Jamaica) Ltd.

“Our company's investment in Guyana is a testimony to its commitment and faith in the country and its people,” Young Sang stated.

“The iBET Supreme and Supreme Ventures teams are committed, dedicated and humbled to be part of this new journey. The Group is committed to good corporate governance and transparency, and we will ensure this legacy continues as we expand across the region.” The CEO added.

iBET Supreme has introduced simulcast racing from Jamaica's historic Caymanas Park to the Guyanese market, as well as American racing from legendary tracks such as Belmont Park, Saratoga and others.

This will shortly be followed by races from the exciting British racetracks, and the introduction of pool betting which has seen better payout options for punters previously serviced by traditional bookmakers offering only fixed odds.

Supreme Ventures says that it will also be offering sports betting to its customers during this year.

SVL has assured that Guyanese punters will experience the benefits of having a company like Supreme Ventures, through iBet, plant roots in their economy in the coming years and, if the benefits that Jamaica have reaped are anything to go by, Guyana is set to explode with positive repercussions.

In brief remarks at the opening ceremony, Guyana's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, commended the company's decision to establish a business venture on local shores.

“Guyana is pleased to welcome an enterprise operating in the service arena, and which can bring economic activities that will enhance the standard of living, the quality of life of Guyanese,” he noted.

He said that this included the employment opportunities that will be offered by the company.

The decision to invest in Guyana stemmed from several reasons, according to Chairman of the Board of Supreme Ventures Enterprise, Walter Scott, including the country's positive economic trend for further growth pending current financial indicators — as reported by The Guyana Chronicle earlier this week.

“The Supreme Ventures Group is committed to good corporate governance and transparency. As such, the board understands its role to ensure this continues… the establishment of iBET Supreme in Guyana will see an improvement for individuals and their communities regarding their social welfare due to the company's track record of contributing to the betterment of the country,” Scott said.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GO-Invest, Owen Verwey, noted that the new business venture bodes well for the economic outlook of the country.

“iBET Supreme is a very significant investment in the Guyana economy… It is great to know from a Guyana perspective that our sisters and brothers in the Caribbean… have studied the outlook in Guyana from a detailed feasibility study on the service sector and I will say the outlook for Guyana is good,” he noted.

Supreme Ventures, which is investing is initially utilising a three-storey building in the heart of Georgetown to operate a superstore with a lounge housing its horse racing business and administrative office.

After a complete roll-out of phase one, Supreme Ventures will embark on a retail expansion across the country. Specifically, the company will set up two more super outlets and 17 standard outlets in 2019.

“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,” Young Sang stated.

SVL has spent some G$100 million in setting up the operation, and has its eyes on becoming market leaders in the Caricom country, which it says is 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.


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