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Saturday, Jun 26, 2004

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Joker may rake in 30% of Playwin sales

R. Savitha

Pune , June 25

JOKER seems to be leading the pack for Playwin, the online lottery. Launched in April 2004, the game seems to have caught the fancy of players across the country.

This game is expected to garner at least 30 per cent of sales, Mr Sawal Das Jethani, Senior Manager, Marketing, told Business Line.

The game has been launched in Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala and the North-East region. What next? Mr Jethani said the company was planning to launch four more innovative games, which is expected to hit the lottery market within this calendar year. The intention is to give customers games that would be innovative and which would go beyond numbers. Their first pilot success is Joker, which is based on cards.

"Joker gives instant gratification to the customers as a Rs 11-ticket purchased gives a return of Rs 100 instantly, if the combination is right," he said. The customer has to pick up a card, King, Queen or Jack, and match it with the four designs and if it turns out right, then he hits the jackpot.

Mr Jethani said the company has also recently tied up with Intrex India to promote ITZ cash card with denominations ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 7,000. The tie up was done in January and works as a cashless transaction. This is targeted at the upper middle class.

Playwin promotes the cash card while Intrex provides the convenience to the customers, he said. The customers, on purchasing the cash card can send an SMS to 7575, punch in the serial number and password and then start playing. Otherwise, the other option is to log onto and punch the serial number and password to play online.

Intrex India, which has tie-ups with Rediff, HCL Infinity etc., promotes barter system or cashless transactions between the various companies. Looking at the financials of the company, Mr Jethani said Playwin, which was launched in 2002 had touched revenue of Rs 670 crore during its first year of operations and for the fiscal ended March 2004, it had grossed revenue of Rs 750 crore. For the current fiscal, with the addition of new games and Joker, the target is Rs 1,400 crore, he said.

Playwin, which has tie-ups with the Government of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka, is in talks with a couple of more State governments in the North-East region. This is expected to be finalised within a couple of months, he added.

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