Keen interest in lottery, says Howlin
THE GOVERNMENT’S plan to sell an extended 20-year licence to run the national lottery has attracted “considerable interest” both domestically and internationally, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said yesterday.
He said his officials had met a number of interested parties and expected to have further engagements in advance of a competition process later this year.
Mr Howlin yesterday formally appointed Davy Corporate Finance as his department’s special advisers to the process. The Dublin-based consultancy was one of nine applicants considered for the role by the department.
“My officials will be working with Davy to establish the precise nature of the competitive process for the licence and the associated timelines.”
The present licence, which was issued to the incumbent An Post in 2001, expires at the end of June next year. The Government is seeking to sell a longer-term licence with an enhanced operator’s fee for an upfront payment thought to be in the region of €400 million.
An Post has already indicated it is exploring several possible partnership options to finance its own bid. British lottery operator Camelot, which already operates in Northern Ireland, is another group known to be eyeing the licence.
Gaming technology and services group GTech Corporation, which is owned by Italian gaming giant Lottomatica, and Australian firm Tatts Group have also declared an interest.
A department spokeswoman said the heads of a Bill revising the current legislation governing the lottery had been sent to the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to the Government.
The new legislation is expected to relax the rules governing internet sales to make the licence more attractive to buyers.