Botswana’s Gambling Authority (GA) has started negotiations with Grow Mine, the winning bidder to run the country’s first lottery licence, around the terms that will dictate the company’s contribution to the National Lottery Fund, which in turn is designed to benefit the broader economy.
In an interview, the Authority said the negotiations, which are expected to take three months, would cover the terms of the contract. However, it has been revealed that if no agreement is reached the tender will be forfeited by Grow Mine and awarded to the reserved bidder, Ithuba Botswana.
Speaking to The Monitor, GA stated: “Negotiations are ongoing and we wish to re-emphasise that Gambling Authority has not yet awarded any company licence to operate the national lottery. Grow Mine is the preferred bidder with whom we’re negotiating and the reserved bidder in case negotiations with the preferred bidder fail to close issuance of licence.”
Should the negotiations prove successful and Grow Mine is appointed then it will run the Botswana National Lottery under a 10-year licence in which time it will be expected to to pay an annual licence fee of P1m. Alongside this, the tender winner is also expected to have to pay an upfront fee of P10m to kickstart the lottery.
Having been registered in 2016 under the trading name of Dineo tsa Pula, Grow Mine has the backing of several prominent business people such as Sefalana Group Managing Director, Chandrakant Chauhan. The list of shareholders also included Sefalana Holdings Company which owns 80%, Colmar Enterprises at 47%, Citizen Money Makers at 26%, Idlehill (PTY) Ltd at 20%, Carthlee Inventions at 21% and Mokgethi Magapa at 6%.
Regarding the Botswana lottery, a certain percentage of the lottery proceeds is expected to be donated to the National Lottery Fund in order to benefit the creative industry, the youth and other sectors.