In Irish gambling news, the National Lottery of Ireland is due to get a new operator, as a consortium of the UK National Lottery operator, Camelot, and the state postal service in Ireland, An Post, have been named as the preferred bidder.
The new 20 year license would be worth about EUR 405 million, and aims to push into an as yet grossly underused online sector. Currently, the Irish lottery makes less than 3% of its revenue from online, a tiny percentage when compared to other countries.
With Irish gambling laws extremely liberal, the lottery faces a lot of competition, and it is hoped that the new license will help the organization to corner a greater share of the online marketplace. As such, there is far greater flexibility worked into the new deal, although the government’s tax take will remain at a high 30.5% on all tickets sold.
The amount tabled by the consortium, Premier Lotteries, was much higher than estimates of EUR 250-300 made by industry experts prior to the tender process, but fell short of some government targets of EUR 500.
Of course, the biggest export from the Irish gambling market is Paddy Power, the online and mobile betting company who have made big inroads into traditional markets with their innovative in-play betting system. As the lottery moves more into the online sphere in the coming months and years, however, the situation in Ireland could go through some changes.
The other companies to bid on the lottery tender were major US company GTECH, and Australian firm Tatts. Premier Lotteries will continue to pay 65% of their gross lottery revenues to good causes, as well as that government tax, leaving them with a very small percentage left for profit. A large portion of the good causes revenue will go towards a new National Children’s Hospital.