With the support of a UK firm, entertainment and gaming company Western Lotto Nigeria Limited entered the Nigerian market July 10 with five international lottery games and pledged to change the landscape of gaming in the country.
Western Lotto is offering well-known European and American gaming brands on its platform. It is also luring customers to go entirely online, unlike the many other players in the land who offer sports betting on improvised boards for the urban poor.
Games on offer at Western Lotto include Powerball, Euro Millions, Euro Jackpot, UK Lotto and Mega Millions. Powerball is an American lottery game played every Wednesday and Saturday. Euro Millions is a transnational lottery played across Europe. The Euro Jackpot similarly plays across Europe. UK Lotto is also known as the National Lottery. It has served good causes in the UK. Draws for MegaMillions hold on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Western Lotto secured the exclusive franchise to operate the games in the Nigerian market. It claims to be the biggest, most equipped and most capitalised gaming company in Nigeria.
Elvis Krivokuca, the Croatian who is managing director, speaks excitedly about the initial response to the brand. It has hired over ten stars from the Nigerian entertainment industry, including well-known music acts Tuface Idibia and Olamide as well as key players from Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry.
Firms offering lotto and lotteries have grown in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. There are no fewer than eight companies in the Nigerian market, each offering a mix of games. There is a strong pull as many of the urban youth play the games. They also create jobs through the many agent locations.
Mr Elvis Krovokuca, managing director, said Western Lotto seeks through its products “to create employment opportunities, wealth and empowerment for people in Nigeria and across Africa.”
He added, “Our mandate at Western Lotto is to bring both fun and hope to the people who choose to play our games. For a few Naira, we deliver excitement and the possibility to change the story of your life radically.”
A particularly resonant message is the company’s pledge to contribute to the right causes, such as a campaign against rape and support for education, as lotteries elsewhere do.
A Croatian, Krivokuca studied Hotel Management with emphasis on gaming casinos and entertainment business, at the University of Rijeka, Croatia and completed a General Management Programme at the Harvard Business School in 2012. Fluent in German, English and Italian, he has been in Nigeria doing business for over five years.
The technical partnership is with Lot.To, a Brtish company that avers its mission to “change the way people play the lottery”.
A galaxy of stars from three arms of the Nigerian entertainment industry formally endorsed Western Lotto, as it entered the market. The stars come from Nollywood, music and comedy.
Present at the unveiling of the brand were Olu Jacobs, Jide Kosoko, Zack Orji, Aki and Pawpaw, and Ramsey Noauh. Also present were Paul Obazele, Alex Usifo and Lanre Anjola. Musicians included Tuface Idibia and Olamide while there were also comedian Ayo Makun, popularly as AY.
Present also at the launch were Senators Ben Murray-Bruce, Magnus Abe and Fatima Raji Rasaki. Honourable Segun Oni and Abdulmojeed Adekoya came from the House of Representatives.
Nollywood great Olu Jacob was one of the endorsers at the launch. He recalled playing the lottery during his 20-year sojourn in the UK. Usually, you play with small stakes with hope in your heart for big winnings.
It’s your game, people. Play to win. Play to support good causes. Play for recreation.
As Tuface Idibia, one of the brand ambassadors stated, “Tell a friend to tell a friend. Let’s have fun. And let the lucky people be lucky. Let us play the games.”