My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Supreme Ventures and Mobile Phone Platform for gambling

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Supreme Ventures and Mobile Phone Platform for gambling




The article “Mystery Winner”, published Thursday 25th February 2010, Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer, The Thursday Gleaner highlights how dangerous Jamaica has become, as even the winner of a most recent Lotto lottery draw, a Mr. S. Gayle, a farmer from Manchester, made his appearance and claim his winnings wearing a wig and beard as stated in the article “$240 million jackpot claimed”, published Thursday April 1st 2010, The Thursday Star fearing extortion. 


Granted, wearing a wig and a mask can help mask one’s identity, but the learned John Public is aware that this is not a permanent solution, as even if one were to hide the money in a bank account, the dreaded Lottery Curse is bound to follow, extortion being the last of one’s worries.

People who owe you money, family members eager to cash in on your winnings, con men wanting you to invest your hard won winnings in some scheme designed to rob you blind are among the horrors that await the Lotto Winner, no matter the size of the Jackpot, and this was true long before the effects of the Recession in the United States of America began to be felt here in Jamaica.

The Recession is also being felt in other ways as well, as Supreme Ventures Limited has been recording lower level of profit in the last five (5) years, as evidenced from their increase in the number of times in the day that one can play some of their daily draw games, such as Cash Pot and Dollaz in a bid to increase revenues.

Further evidence is provided in the obvious lackluster support for Lotto and Super Lotto, as the starting prize for the Lotto were recently increased along with the ticket prices posting at JA$50 and Super Lotto, introduced last year with its super expensive ticket priced at JA$250, has had to create a split in its play format by offering upper tier and lower tier prize ticket differing by JA$100 to encourage more people to purchase Super Lotto tickets, which based on published numbers, hardly anyone is buying.

Other games had been introduced but did not catch on, as gamblers within John Public are a superstitious lot of people, their minds easily swayed by any news that would reduce their ability to win, as they see the “Chiney Man” as being out to rob them, despite knowing that the Gambling Golden Rule: The House Always Wins. And yet Supreme Ventures Limited has introduced a service that effectively solved a main problem of the reluctance involved with playing the game, mainly having to stand in line to purchase tickets.

The service, called Go Play as stated in the Supreme Ventures Limited Go Play advertisement published 14th June 2009, Sunday Gleaner, basically involves the player signing up for a stored value card which the player can use to play Supreme Ventures Limited games via voice calling on Telecoms Providers Networks. Supreme Ventures Limited, however, for some unknown reason, has not chosen to advertise extensively.

Even worse, Supreme Ventures Limited has not improved on the concept in any way or form, as it offers the possibility of not only being able to play Lottery games but also to receive notifications as to winnings, something that would have been helpful to the winner of the JA$240 million, as he would have known about his winnings and have already made contact to collect his cash bonanza.

Thus an easy improvement is obvious, which is to enable bets to be placed either via SMS Text Messaging and a downloadable app for the Apple iPhone, Blackberries, smart phones that use Google Android and hence Google Marketplace and any other 3G or 4G enabled smart phone or netbook via GetJar as is possible as suggested in the article “GetJar: The Unknown App store leader”, published November 6, 2009 4:00 AM PST by Marguerite Reardon CNET News - Signal Strength. The Go Play platform requires registration using Government of Jamaica approved identification i.e. Voters ID, Drivers License, Passport, TRN, Birth Certificate.

Thus, this service, which already exists, would be enhanced further by the addition of these alternative means of gambling with Supreme Ventures Limited as with a little advertising, it has the potential to not only broaden the appeal of Supreme Ventures Limited and its products and services but also reach a wider younger and more tech-savvy audience who may wish to play but do not wish to be seen playing or to have themselves revealed when they win cash prizes.

Perhaps next time there is a large cash winning or even a winner sometime in the future of the Super Lotto, Go Play would be more widely used and make it possible to even collect the prize over the phone with the money being sent to the Go Play card, with the winner sending their picture as verification that they are the ticket holder.

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