Gidani International, a South Africa-based lottery management company, has entered the Malawi market to operate a national lottery, promising to invest millions of dollars and employ 6 400 Malawians within the first six months of its operations.
The national lottery operator, whose pre-operations agreement signing and handover of the licence were done on Wednesday at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe, comes after three licensed firms abandoned the national lottery between 2006 and 2012.
But Gidani International chairperson Bongani Khumalo promised that the company is here to stay to complete its five-year tenure and will be one of the leading lotteries on the continent with potential to improve their rating within its licence term.
“We intend to use our technological innovations to deliver exciting games and fabulous prizes to our participants while we generate hundreds of millions of kwacha for good cause as proceeds of the sale of lottery tickets.
“The retail sector of the economy in the form of individual entrepreneurs, small medium and large retailers and many other businesses will benefit by vending national lottery products or games,” he said.
Khumalo could, however, not disclose their initial investment amount, saying that will be known on November 21 this year when they will roll out their services with the first ticket sold on the day and first draw on November 28 when a K100 million jackpot will be up for grabs.
He said 2 500 points of sale (PoS) and 200 mobile instruments will also be deployed.
The lottery firm has established its subsidiary, Gidani International Malawi, whose director and shareholder is private practice lawyer Jai Banda.
He said lottery is big business and that the country should not lag behind other countries.
“We should move with the times and have a full, active lottery in the country. This means new jobs will be created for our people and in turn, the economy will flourish.
“The national lottery is more than just a game as many people perceive it to be. More money will be made available for education, healthcare and food,” he said.
Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa, who signed the agreement on behalf of Malawi Government, said national lottery is a means of generating revenue to fund a number of social projects.
He said, according to the Lotteries Act, there is provision to establish a National Lottery Distribution Fund, whose proceeds will be used for the country’s developmental projects.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter,” said Nankhumwa, urging Gidani to comply with the terms of the licence to instill confidence in the participants of the lottery.
National Lotteries and Gaming Board chief executive officer Master Maliro said Gidani beat Eagle Press of India and Gaming Solutions of Norway to emerge the preferred bidder to operate the national lottery.