Tilia Games, the operator of the national lottery and casino are planning to invest about US$25m (Rwf14.1b) in Lotto Rwanda operations for the next five years.
In a recent interview with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tilia Games, Johannes Lind part of these investments will be in software development, equipment, machinery and human resource in the gaming industry.
“Also part of the investment will be within the expansion of our operations countrywide as a network provider in close tanderm with the Rwandatel expansion plans,” he said.
Lotto Rwanda is a joint venture between government and private sector licensed to run Rwanda’s national lottery, casino and fun games.
The company contracted Tilia Games, a full entertainment solutions provider and leading pan-African lottery project to operate under its licence. Officials of Tilia Games say that the company made an initial investment of US$3.5m in the national lottery with operating cost of US$500,000 monthly.
“It also invested about US$1.6m (Rwf899m) in the casino,” Lind said, adding that the company is to import 2,000 slot machines each costing about US$7,000 on average. About 566 slot machines are expected this week for some of the 50 planned casino outlets.
“This will see the number of winners increase from about 3,200 in the first three weeks to about 85,000 weekly,” he explained, adding that this will entirely depend on the sales.
Currently, there are about 25,000 tickets sold per week. The lottery is conducted on a weekly basis, and gives away a minimum of Rwf 30m (US$55,555) cash and other prizes.
Tillia Games also provides gaming activities such as slot machines and poker where players get a chance of winning.
The National Lottery was launched in mid-December last year under the support of GSI, a gaming company believed to have launched 20 lotteries in USA, Europe, and South Africa. This is now its 21st project.
Within three weeks of operation, national lottery winners stood at 3,200. In one of its gambling programmes dubbed, ‘Crazy Sunday’, a young man aged 20, Zuberi Hakizimana, won Rwf.10m. The programme is held every Sunday from 5 pm to 6 pm.
After two weeks of operation, Lotto Rwanda opened up a prize claiming account in Eco-Bank Rwanda headquarters. This is intended to facilitate the claiming of the cash prizes easily.
Officials say the account is to also help winners seek for advice on how to make use of their cash prizes. It was expected to spread to other branches of the bank within Kigali city and upcountry as the company plans to roll out it operations.
According to the joint venture agreement, Lotto Rwanda contributes a certain percentage estimated at 65 percent to government for the development of sports, culture and entertainment.
Government officials say that this creates and maintains a world-class and responsible gaming experience, while raising funds and giving an opportunity for locals to realise their life expectations and supporting government programmes.