Howlin notes 'interest' in lottery sale


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 today.

He said his officials had met with a number of interested parties and expected to have further engagements in advance of a competition process later this year.

Mr Howlin today 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 current 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 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 eying the licence.

Gaming technology and services company 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.

“It is the intention of Minister Howlin to seek Government approval for the Bill in the current Dáil session and, subject to approval, the Bill will be published shortly afterwards,” she added.

The new legislation is expected to relax the rules governing internet sales to make the licence more attractive to potential buyers.

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