Australia enjoys a largely positive history with our Greek friends. But, in recent years Intralot has impacted Australia's gaming sector in a less than stellar fashion. Media Man and Gambling911 investigate and probe seeking answers .....sounds like Greek or not...
Intralot Australia in quite a pickle, has borrowed multiple millions of dollars to attempt to care card of business down under in Australia.
It's still weathering the storm from its ill fated entry into the Australian instant lottery market circa 2008 with machines that "spoke" (read) in Greek tongue.
The roots go back in history to Athens... its birthplace. Maybe they should have stayed there, as much as we love the Greeks and their world famous cuisine, hospitality and goddess like sexy women.
It's now understood they lost $15 million in 2009. Their 2 year loss is in the region of $28.4 million. It's loans from what insiders call "related parties" were $21.5 million in 2009, compared with "only" $6.5 million circa 2008. Detractors who are choosing to remain nameless at present are starting to question if "loan sharks" or "dodgy deals" are part of the problem.
We understand that Intralot Australia had borrowed an additional $1.65 million from Intralot UK Finance.
The company GM, Leo Watling, is tight lipped about if more loans will be in order.
Before things soured with the Greek salad, going pear shaped, the outfit was hopeful of winning a New South Wales licence, recently awarded to Tatts. There was controversy over the inclusion element re unclaimed prizes. A number of other bidders state they were not given an opportunity to bid. Intralot has consulted with legal eagles and 'Do We Cheat Em & How' (just kidding) and is still considering suing the NSW government over it. Mama and Papa know the government has enough problems to deal with at the moment, without a legal situation mixing it up with convicts and Greek gods and goddesses.
For the uninitiated our learned friends Intralot entered the Victorian gambling sector in the middle of 2008. The company offers scratch cards in Tasmania and look after information technology support services for Western Australia's Lotterywest brand.
Its Victorian entry was not god or goddess like. Even "Osiris magic" tactics were not going to save it, never mind a resurrection.
Of course the "the blame game" started and newsagents claimed they lost 15% of their lotteries income through a range of issues including faulty technology, complex scratch games and piss poor sales, marketing, branding and the like. It was a bad comedy, being compared to 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'. Punters, would you believe the machines installed to check tickets gave instructions in Greek tongue!
Intralot is arguing with passion that its sales have been hampered by Tatts' refusal to permit the firm to place their branded products (scratchies etc) on shop counters where Tatts scratchies were previously sold to the punting public.
"We continue to explain to the Victorian government that the existence of the Tattersall's dedicated area is not only unfair but anti-competitive," Mr Watling spoke.
Tatts remains unwilling to negotiation on this point. Intralot Australia's financial statement for 2009 shows its Victorian lottery sales: $56 million. Total revenue: $66 million, however it paid $31 million in prizes, good news for punters...almost $18.8 million in lottery tax and licence fees, and millions more on a fruit basket of miscellaneous expenses.
"We had always anticipated that the first few years would be loss-making due to the substantial investment required to develop this current licence and others opportunities in the region," Mr Watling explained.
"Sales are trending upwards and our relationships with our vendors … have never been better. They have appreciated the recent efforts we have made with the introduction of new scratch ticket dispensers and the relaunched Keno game."
The jury is out re Intralot soon to be ancient (Greek) history, or will they get the power of Isis with 'Assimilation of Mut'?
Greek Online Slot Games...
Words Of Wisdom...With Public Thank You To Jimmy Wales Of Wikipedia...
"It is difficult not to wonder whether that combination of elements which produces a machine for labor does not create also a soul of sorts, a dull resentful metallic will, which can rebel at times." -Pearl S. Buck
"It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any human being." -John Stuart Mill
"The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them." -Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939
"Once upon a time we were just plain people. But that was before we began having relationships with mechanical systems. Get involved with a machine and sooner or later you are reduced to a factor." -Ellen Goodman, "The Human Factor," The Washington Post, January 1987
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams, 1923
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." B.F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement, 1969
"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation...tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation." -Jean Arp
"We are becoming the servants in thought, as in action, of the machine we have created to serve us." -John Kenneth Galbraith
"When a machine begins to run without human aid, it is time to scrap it - whether it be a factory or a government." -Alexander Chase, Perspectives, 1966
"You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative; the jolliest steam-roller will not plant flowers." -Walter Lippmann
"The best machine is one you don't have to turn on." - Great quote, but whose is it?
Greek Trivia Fact...
Modern Greeks can still wholly or partly understand texts written in non-archaic forms of ancient Greek shows the affinity of modern Greek language to its ancestral predecessor!
Wrap Up (In English)...
Gods and goddesses, don your mask and spin to win, scratch to hatch, or whatever is your poison. Isis tells us that a number of online casino games are awaiting your custom, and yes, they come in multi currency, and some come both in English and Greek variations, with strong security protection like eCogra. As Aussie Greek cultural icon Con The Fruitier says, "Beautiful". Bet responsibly and watch out for hot headed Greeks, unless they are hot Greek chicks or for the ladies, Mr Cleopatra 'Bachelor of the Year' cum Underbelly Fireass!
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover.