Instant lottery tickets big hit in China

Aug 4, 2008 7:41 PM

by Ray Poirier | With most gaming companies scrambling to make a profit, one company is beginning to stand out: Scientific Games Corp. (SGMS).

Up until a couple of years ago, the company was called Autotote Corp. and its primary business was providing both hardware and software to state lotteries and totalizator equipment to racetracks.

Then, CEO Lorne Weil was successful in acquiring Scientific Games, a major printer of instant lottery tickets. He then merged both businesses and took the Scientific Games name and logo for the combined company.

But, the biggest move he made was making a deal to supply the Chinese lottery with instant tickets. During the fiscal quarter that ended on June 30, the company reported retail lottery sales in China of about $43 million. Company officials expect that figure to grow to $60 million in the third quarter. Sequential growth of 40% is expected to continue for the next few years.

Analysts have recently stated that they expect "a more significant impact in 2009."

Helping to boost the company sales will be Yan Xuan, a Chinese national who holds a degree in English from Beijing University and a law degree from Duke University. He has been named president of Greater China and Senior Vice president of Scientific Games International.