Czech Players Tune into TV Lottery

23 October 2003

SAZKA and T-Mobile give scratch card lottery players in the Czech Republic a chance to score cash in three different ways. Besides winning instant cash, players have the chance to participate by phone or in person in a broadcast of the lottery's television show called T-Mobile RENTA.

SAZKA, RENTA's operator, is the largest operator of number and instant lotteries and betting games in the Czech Republic. For about the price of $1, players purchase RENTA scratch cards at SAZKA's on-line POS terminals. Every ticket contains a playing field that reveals three symbols when scratched off. If all three symbols are identical cash values, the player wins that amount. Instant cash amounts can range from $1 to $3,700, and players are able to retrieve their winnings from vendors immediately.

If the player's ticket reveals three identical telephones or televisions, he has potentially won an opportunity to participate in the RENTA television show. He then must register his ticket with a vendor in order to receive a voucher that contains a numbered code and a specific date of one of RENTA's broadcasts.

Next, the player must watch the show on the date provided. Throughout the course of every show, ten codes of players who have registered for the phone-in games are displayed on the screen. If a player's number appears, he must call the SAZKA dispatcher in order to be able to participate in a later broadcast. The dispatcher provides the player with all the necessary information, such as whether or not the player is scheduled as a player or an alternate.

On each program, the show's host calls back one player for a game of Kufřík (Little Suitcase), giving the player his choice of one out of 10 numbered suitcases in which prizes ranging from $1,800 to $7,300 lie. After that, another player is called to participate via phone in a game of Trezor (Safe Deposit Box), where players again choose one of 10 numbered boxes to win prizes from $3,700 to $15,000.

Ten registration codes are also displayed for those players fortunate enough to have received three TV screens on their cards. If a player's number appears, he can call the SAZKA dispatcher and then take part in a drawing before the shooting of the next show. If the player's number is drawn from the pool of ten, then he will be the lucky live participant in the RENTA studio during broadcast.

For the finale of the show, that player draws a monthly rent amount that will be paid to him every month for a period of time which he will also draw. The player will receive a minimum of $550 and a maximum of $3,700 every month for anywhere between one and 10 years.

The other nine players who show up to the studio but are not lucky enough to participate do not leave without consolation. The first alternate receives $180, while the remaining eight receive $110.

RENTA is broadcast nationwide every Sunday evening at 7:20 on private commercial station TV Nova.

Like the T-Mobile RENTA lottery, most of SAZKA's products and services are focused on the Czech market, but the company does cooperate with several foreign suppliers. SAZKA, which says its primary mission is to provide financial support to Czech sports and physical education, helps to fund many major projects in social, cultural, and charitable areas.

SAZKA's partner in the RENTA venture, T-Mobile Czech Republic, a division of the global T-Mobile group, provides with every ticket a voucher worth $1 (the price of a ticket) that can be used as credit whenever a player redeems his mobile phone air-time at a SAZKA terminal.

The Czech Republic's Ministry of Culture earmarks a portion of RENTA's revenue for public goods in culture, specifically for the reconstruction and maintenance of major Czech cultural and historic monuments.

Bradley Vallerius

Articles by Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials. Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

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