Italian gaming company confirm interest in Lotto licence

The National Lottery is a major supporter of good causes, raising almost €5 billion to date

Gtech confirms it will bid for upcoming 20 year licence for state Lotto



8 May 2013

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An Italian lottery and gaming company has confirmed it is planning to bid for the Lotto licence when it becomes available. Gtech has confimed that it will bid for the licence and also indicated that it was exploring the possibility of mounting a joint bid with An Post. The 20 year licence was due to end last year but the government has delayed the sale until June to allow it to make changes to the legislation. The sale is now expected to open to bids later in the year.

The company, which is both an operator and a gaming technology supplier, is the first big international player to confirm that it will take part in the bidding process for the 20 year licence. The company, which employs 70 staff at its Dublin office, already supplies An Post with the network of ticket terminals in shops. In an interview with The Irish Times, Gtech senior vice president and chief operations officer for Europe, Declan Harkin said forming an alliance with An Post was a possibility, but equally the company had the resources to enter the process alone. "Obviously, working together is something I’d like to think both companies would continue to consider very strongly," Harkin said.

In its most recent set of results, the National Lottery saw online sales increase by 43% to €8.7 million in 2012 as the number of registered players rose to 40,000. Under the new Lottery Act, the strict rules governing online sales and the player registration process will be relaxed to help grow the business online. Harkin acknowledged that one of the key selling points of the Irish business was the relatively untapped online market which still only accounts for 2% of sales. 

Harkin said consumers could expect "a very significant refresh of the technology used to support the business" should Gtech win the licence. He also hinted there was likely to be a roll-out of new self-service points of sale in shops. Gtech is likely to be joined in the competition by An Post, UK operator Camelot and possibly Australian gaming group Tatts which have all declared an interest in the process. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will solicit expressions of the interest for the licence ahead of the bidding competition later in the year, which will involve an upfront payment to the State.



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