Irish Lottery Sale – Government Seeks €600 Million For Gambling Licence

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News | Wednesday 29 May 2013 9:24 am

There is huge money to be made in the gambling industry, in particular in low cost wagers where life-changing amounts of money can be won. The Irish are selling their National Lottery with a €600 Million price tag, and Minister Brendan Howlin has been warned that he should be compelled to introduce measures that will protect players from gambling addiction. This comes as a section of a social responsibility charter that the new private operator must be prepared to adhere to.

A Gambling expert has been advising both buyers and sellers in this new deal. This expert is of the opinion that the sale actually calls for new measure to be put into place. This is a very controversial sale of a licence which will allow the private operator to run this lotto for a period of twenty years.

At the moment, despite the price, any buyer would be taking a gamble. The new operations company would have to be able to increase both turnover and revenues substantially. Last year sales for the Irish Lotto dropped by 10.6% – down to €252.3 Million, so any return on investment for the new operator, looks particularly bleak, unless they can pump up the sales.

However with the need to increase ticket sales, a massive push into advertising would obviously be a necessity, and it is this that causes concern. When a lottery product and the amounts of money that can be won are advertised on a grand scale, this takes place amidst fears that vulnerable members of society may be drawn into purchasing tickets that they can actually not afford. Or that under-age gambling may take place online.

There are a number of online gambling concerns that have an interest in this Irish license, and this is chiefly due to the fact that the online market for it remains largely untapped. Gaming giant Gtech (Italian) has shown an interest, and have actually admitted that this aspect is its chief selling point.

Declan Harkin who is chief operating officer of Gtech has hinted that if their bid were to be successful, a roll-out of self-service points in retail shops, as well as a "significant refresh of technology support", would definitely be on the cards. However, present laws need to be relaxed before lotto purchases may be made online.
Currently a cumbersome system is in place in terms of player registration.

This system is intended to be relaxed under a new Lottery Act, and experts in gambling, and gambling problems, believe that as long strong social responsibility ethics are adhered to by operators of online lottery-style games. Problem gambling will not be inevitable.

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