The country’s lawmakers are about to start debate on the change in Irish gambling laws with the aim to produce a brand new National Lottery Bill. The new piece of legislation will open up the competition for a 20y-year lottery operating tender, where commercial companies are allowed to partake.
The current operator’s – An Post – 12-year-long contract is about to come to an end. The new operator is expected to be chosen amidst fierce competition from UK’s Camelot, Lottomatica’s GTech, and even Australian Tatts, besides An Post.
The new National Lottery Bill will feature provisions for online gambling in Ireland, allowing the upcoming tender to feature a very lucrative prize. 20-year lottery operation including online activity is a license every self-respecting gambling firm would be after.
Given the time constraints put onto the legislative and tender process we’re unlikely to see the new lottery operator before 2014, with An Post receiving an extension to its contract ending in mid-2013.
Irish gambling news sources learned some details on the upcoming tender including the winner requiring to have stable cash reserves, and an upfront payment of EUR 400 million for the license.
The Irish Department of Public Expenditure and Reform noted the growing importance of online sales in its public statement, commenting that online channels will enjoy the best growth rate for interactive games in the coming years.
The current situation sees less than 3 percent of total lottery sales being achieved through online channels in Ireland. This figure is much lower than the European average of 15 percent.
An Post predicts that in case the current offline registration procedures and various restrictions on online sales will pump up the number of lottery tickets sold online to a healthy 20 percent landmark.