Televisa wins lottery ruling


MEXICO CITY -- The Supreme Court here has ruled that it will allow Mexican media giant Televisa to move forward with plans to run several gaming operations, including a lucrative new lottery business.

A group of federal lawmakers had challenged the constitutionality of the gaming permits granted to Televisa in 2005. They claimed that the Interior Ministry, which issued the concessions, needed the approval of congress. The permits gave Mexico's top broadcaster the ability to enter the bookmaking, bingo and lottery businesses.

A Morgan Stanley report said it expects Televisa to pull in about $175 million in revenues this year from its lottery operation. This represents nearly 5% of the company's total revenues.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Interior Ministry had not violated the constitution, according to Televisa.

News reports have suggested that Televisa benefited from political favors when it received the gaming permits. Santiago Creel, Mexico's former interior minister, approved the concessions just five days before stepping down from office in 2005 in order to run for president.

Televisa denies accusations that it gave favorable news coverage and discounted political ad rates to Creel in exchange for the permits.