Intralot's Online Gambling Australian Woes

Published Monday, April 06, 2009 -

Intralot's, global head Constantinos Antonopoulos, flew to Melbourne in February to meet Gaming Minister Tony Robinson, in an attempt to fix Intralot's ailing business plan in Australia.

The Victorian State Government has warned the Greek-based company it has until the end of June to turn around its sales figures before a mid-year review that has the power to cancel its Victorian lottery 10-year licence.

Intralot wants to use former football star Sam Kekovich to turn the company's fortunes around in the state. Kekovich, is now best known for his TV ads persuading Australians to eat lamb, said he was aware of Intralot's interest. "I know some of the players involved and it was mooted at some stage that perhaps they were looking to give it a more human touch," "But there's no firm offer." Mr. Kekovich was quoted as saying.

"It's desperation time. They're starting all over," "But if they think Sam Kekovich is the answer, they're kidding themselves." a senior industry source said.

Antonopoulos, was told by Gaming Minister Tony Robinson the Government wouldn't hesitate to revoke Intralot's licence if its performance did not improve and that fines could also be imposed.

Advertising firm, George Patterson Y & R was cut off and Melbourne public relations guru Mike Smith was let go as the chips begin to fall during the shake up. The removal of these positions are just part of a costly re-branding strategy for the hurting company.

Intralot's Australian chief, John Katakis, who ordered the end of the contracts was distressed over the failed "Luck Factory" ad campaign and the expenses incurred by Mike Smith during his bid to repair the company's poor image.

Documentation shows that Intralot is likely to be $226 million short of its first-year sales target of $293 million. More than 200 of its 769 Victorian agents lost money between September and January, while 196 agents collected less than $22 a week. Intralot has spent just $3 million on advertising since it was launched last July only a quarter of the amount spent by lottery rival Tatts.

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