Loxley Plc has set aside an extra 300 million baht for the launch of the online lottery, with the installation of lottery machines to be completed by year-end.
‘‘ Loxley still has the right to move ahead with the online lottery under the contract it signed with the GLO ... The project should quickly go ahead as it benefits the country, while other countries including Cambodia and Laos already have online lotteries DHONGCHAILAMSAM PRESIDENT, LOXLEY PLC
The move appears to be in response to the government's plan to possibly allow Samsung of South Korea to replace current contract holder Loxley GTech Technology (LGT), a joint venture between Loxley and the US lottery firm G-Tech Co.
Samsung submitted proposals to the Government Lottery Office (GLO) to take over the contract by offering to pay any damages demanded by the Loxley unit for contract termination by the government.
The GLO is unhappy with delays to the installation of lottery machines.
Loxley president Dhongchai Lamsam expressed confidence that Loxley still has the right to move ahead with the online lottery under the contract it signed with the GLO.
The project should quickly go ahead as it benefits the country, while other countries including Cambodia and Laos already have online lotteries, he said.
Pises Dissawat, the president and chief executive of LGT, said the company could complete installation of 12,000 lottery machines within this year. It has so far installed 6,000, he said.
"We are now waiting for a clear policy and direction from the government before moving ahead further," Mr Pises said.
He said the move by Samsung came as no surprise due to the project's potential.
"If the GLO wants to terminate the contract, the state must inform us. But we have not yet been informed by the office," Mr Pises said.
He conceded that contract termination could occur if it is stipulated by the government.
Mr Pises said its partner G-Tech is a leading online game service provider, having up to a 70% share in the global market.
The lottery contract was signed in 2006. LGT needed to invest 2 billion baht for machine installation. The company will receive 75 satang per transaction for investment returns.
Sales of lottery tickets total up to 3 billion baht per draw, generating a profit of 1.5 billion baht a year.
Mr Dhongchai said Loxley expects its consolidated revenue to top 18 billion baht this year, up by 30% from last year, fuelled mainly by new telecom and technology projects.
Net profit will increase by 25% from 526 million baht last year.
Of total revenue, 12 billion baht will come from information and communications technology businesses, 5 billion from trading and 1 billion from other services.
Mr Dhongchai said Loxley plans to spend at least 700 million baht this year on new projects, both locally and overseas.
The company is also looking to invest in several projects in Myanmar including a 15-billion-baht power plant with the annual capacity to generate electricity of 500 megawatts and a 9-billion-baht submarine cable network.
Loxley is preparing to raise capital by issuing 165 million shares with a value of 1 billion baht or 6.06 baht a share.
The recapitalisation will strengthen the group's financial position and reduce its debt-to-equity ratio to 1.5 times from 1.8, said Mr Dhongchai.
Loxley has a total debt of 5 billion baht.
Shares of LOXLEY closed yesterday on the SET at 7.40 baht, down 60 satang, in heavy trade worth 1.49 billion baht.
About the author
Writer: Wichit Chantanusornsiri & Srisamorn Phoosuphanusorn