Dec. 15, 2003 – Leeward Islands Lottery Holding Company Inc., the parent company of St. Croix-based Caribbean Lottery Services, and Black Entertainment Television have announced plans to bring BET's SoundStage nightclub concept to the Caribbean with a regional twist: Each facility will have a separate room for video lottery gaming.
Under an exclusive license agreement, LILHCo will design, build and manage new BET SoundStage clubs, restaurants "and other gaming concepts in select Caribbean countries" as a means to developing its lottery and gambling business in the region, according to a release.
"The key to this opportunity," LILHCo chief executive Robert B. Washington Jr. said, "is to give the tourists a well-known venue and the ability to have a great meal and drinks, listen to music and try your luck at winning in a first-class venue."
Expanding the club concept "to feature a video and fast-draw lottery game room," Washington said, "is a very significant development for our company and our players and will attract another level of revenue for those islands that participate."
LILHCo's principal partners are Washington, its founder and chair as well as CEO; Robert L. Johnson, BET founder, chair and CEO; and lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran.
The release said LILHCo will be marketing "a totally new concept to consumers who want a quality entertainment and dining experience and can choose to try their luck at winning the fastest-growing lottery gaming anywhere, video lottery games."
The release did not say specifically how the plans might impact on the territory.
It did say that LILHCo's right to utilize BET properties in connection with its lottery operations will extend to Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Sint Maarten/St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Washington said of the agreement: "We look forward to introducing the exciting new BET SoundStages and other BET branded lottery products in early 2004." He described the SoundStage concept as "an excellent fit with our lotteries' gaming and entertainment plans and strategies."
Johnson said that "many significant opportunities" exist for the companies' brands and consumers. "We will continue to explore investment opportunities in other Caribbean countries that relate to and involve entertainment, hospitality and gaming," he said.
BET, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., is the world's leading African-American multimedia entertainment company, according to the LILHCo release. BET Network television reaches more than 72 million U.S. homes, including more than 90 percent of all African-American households with cable TV. BET International has millions of subscribers worldwide in 66 countries including the Caribbean.
LILHCo is an exempt St. Kitts and Nevis corporation. Its Caribbean Lottery subsidiary offers a regional Lotto jackpot game that can reach millions of dollars; a variety of online validated Instant Scratch Ticket games; the popular fast-draw Caribbean Keno; daily Pairs, Pick 3 and Pick 4 games; the daily Hot 5 game in the Virgin Islands and eight other Caribbean locales; and Powerball and Power Play games in the U.S.V.I.
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