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SBD Global/June 20, 2013/Olympics

Sochi Organizing Committee Sues Official Lottery Company Over Unpaid Licensing Fees

The organizational committee of Sochi 2014 is suing the Olympics’ official lottery company Sportloto for failure to make license payments for the use of Olympic logos. The committee has filed a lawsuit with a Moscow arbitration court, claiming that Sportloto failed to make applicable license payments on time and in full, and is demanding 20.4M rubles ($635,000) in outstanding license fees, the court news wire service RAPSI reported. Under a seven-year license agreement, signed by Sportloto and the organizing committee in '10, the company obtained the status of “the Olympic lottery operator” and the right to develop, launch and operate two real-time draw lotteries and 10 instant lotteries through its nationwide sales network of more than 120,000 points of sales. License fees were designed to contribute to Sochi 2014 Olympic funding.

GETTING EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS: The agreement also gave Sportloto, the sole lottery operator to obtain the Olympic status, the exclusive rights to the Olympic logos. The organizing committee said that the delay in collecting the license fees from Sportloto will not have any impact on preparations for the Olympics. Launched in '70, Sportloto was the most popular draw lottery in the Soviet era, when it was run by the government. Its popularity declined sharply in the '90s, but received a boost with the obtaining of the Olympic status.
(Vladimir Kozlov is SBD Global's Moscow correspondent)
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