The stage is set for a 'battle royale' between Essel Group's subsidiary Playwin Infravest Private Limited and Modi Entertainment Network's subsidiary MWC Market Services Limited to grab the lucrative contracts for running online lottery for the Haryana and Tamil Nadu governments.
In Haryana, where Playwin has set its lottery terminals for Sikkim and Karnataka Government's online lottery, the state government has just approved the draft of Online Lottery (Regulation) Rules 2002, to regulate the sale of Haryana State online lottery tickets within or outside the state and by any other state government in Haryana.
As per the draft rules, no state online lottery ticket would be sold by means of lottery terminal or vending machine unless such machine is attended by a person authorised by the holder. Haryana State Online lottery tickets will be sold only to adults (18 years or above) and the sale of tickets in respect of each draw would stop two hours before the time of the draw. The Director Haryana State Lotteries has invited bidders to participate in a competitive bidding for selecting an exclusive agent for operating, promoting and marketing online lottery for a period of seven years.
Besides Haryana, Tamil Nadu government has also invited bids for running its online lottery. Both Playwin and MWC have high stakes in running these lotteries. Playwin which enjoys the first mover advantage by running Sikkim and Karnataka government's online lotteries would like to consolidate its position whereas Lalit Modi promoted MWC which has just entered the online lottery business with Manipur government's online lottery badly needs another break through by way of a contract to run an online lottery sponsored by any state government.
In fact both Playwin and MWC are also eying the proposed online lottery of Kerala government. Kerala government has set up a high powered committee to finalise the rules for the companies for participating in the bidding process. Playwin enjoys a definite edge over MWC as it has already set up highest number of its lottery terminals in Kerala for Sikkim and Karnataka online lotteries.
MWC which is also hoping to bag contract to run Punjab government's online lottery, has prepared an ambitious business plan to set up about 8000 lottery terminals across the country in a year's time with a total investment of Rs. 500 crore on its venture. Playwin which currently has over 3000 lottery terminals, has on the other hand prepared a blue Print to increase its terminals to 9000 at the end of the current fiscal with targeted revenue of Rs. 100 crore. Obviously, for MWC, it will not be an easy task to take on Playwin, which currently has a formidable base of 60 lakh lottery players with a sales turnover of Rs. 12 crore every week.
Nevertheless, it'll be interesting to watch the outcome of this high pitched battled between Playwin and MWC in the coming months.