Rwanda Gaming Corporation (RGC), a charity business organisation which was recently re-branded from Lotto Rwanda has a target of making Rwf1billion in 2010. Business Times’ SAUL BUTERA interviewed Philippe Brizoua, the company CEO and explained to him what RGC is all about.
QN: Briefly tell us about Lotto Rwanda and its presence in Rwanda?
Lotto Rwanda was incorporated in 2005, as a public-private initiative of the Rwandan government owning 40 percent and the private sector 60 percent.
The company’s vision and mandate was to create and maintain a world class and responsible gaming experience, with the main objective of mobilizing resources that would be channelled to support sports and culture and other national good causes.
QN: Why did you rebrand to Rwanda Gaming Corporation?
Rwanda has an emerging gaming market which is recording a various range of products including CASINO (2 branches), the national Lottery 6/36, video slot machines, sport betting and live horse betting.
Lotto Rwanda entered in partnership with World class prayers from the world gaming industry to implement its business plan. In that world, lottery is described in short as Lotto and has nothing to do neither with the CASINO nor the Slot Machines. We couldn’t keep Lotto Rwanda as both a product name and company name.
QN: What is your take on both the Rwandan and African gaming markets?
Pioneering in Rwanda of the emerging gaming industry, RGC with a strategy made of high tech and innovation, leads the new sector.
In Africa, filling the seeming gap on the gaming sector compared to other African countries operating quite successful scratch card lotteries since years.
Rwanda is about to be part of the revolution in the African Lottery market.
QN: How do you assess the activities you launched?
It has been a long journey for lotto Rwanda, having crossed many difficulties, even experiencing a bankruptcy period and other challenges since 2005.
When we took over earlier in July 2007, we tried to reposition the values perceived by our population, using few extraordinary actions to show our ambitions for the company.
Over the past period from mid 2007 to 2008, we focused on a restructuring plan, market test and teasing, investment and launching.
So far, we have invested $7.5million (Rwf4.3 billion) to bring in new innovations, world class and affordable products into the Rwandan market.
QN: What is the competitive advantage of RGC?
RGC has been listed as member of Rwanda’s financial institution association by the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF). We might add that we are the most social “faced” financial institution.
We are always and anytime a charity business organisation mare than 66 percent of the gaming industry turnover is shared by gaming prize winner and national good causes programs.
With the view to sustain the emerging national gaming market, RGC is experiencing the fine art of global collaboration partnership, under a model of Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement that address the management of the different people, learning of process, platform and programs involved.
QN: What is RGC’s plan to deploy in the country side?
We are running completely new operations and we have to move on carefully and responsibly by setting up showcase facilities as copy and paste models.
The first quarter of 2010 we shall implement services in the main city of each province from Kigali and the second quarter we will be focused to the country side for expansion.
QN: What does it represent in terms of investment?
The deployment requires investing a lot in time and money. It involves logistics (human resource around 5 staff per gaming hall, sales and technical training and support, customer relationship management plus location facilities.
We have to spend $5,000 (Rwf2.8million) and $10,000 (Rwf5.6million) to have a location ready for operating a full set of gaming hall.
QN: What is RGC’s short and middle term plans?
In terms of operations, over the next 6 months, we have the plan to operate a successful M-Lottery, increase the number of our gaming location across the country to offer Slot machines, sport betting and live horse racing.
Over the next year, we will open the window of the international scene.
We will start implementing the PAN African HUB of the M-Lottery project together with our partners, Integrate RGC into the international association of the sector and sustain the emerging Rwanda Gaming market.