Thursday May 9,2013 :  IRELAND OPENS BIDDING FOR NATIONAL LOTTERY LICENCE
 
GTech and An Post plan a partnership
 
After months of speculation and delay, on Wednesday the Irish government opened the bidding for a 20-year licence to run the Irish National Lottery.
 
The Irish Independent newspaper reports that a cash-strapped government wants to generate up to Euro 600 million from the sale, with the funds earmarked for the construction of a new national children's hospital.
 
Special legalization had to be passed by the government to enable the licence sale, and it also had to ensure that any new operator would be able to broaden the commercial activities of the lottery by permitting more online games, the newspaper reports.
 
The lottery has been operated by the national postal authority, An Post, for the past 26 years. An Post and the GTech subsidiary of the Italian gambling group Lottomatica have made no secret of their plans to partner up on the project
 
Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin formally announced the invitation for expressions of interest in the licence.
 
The full competitive process is slated to begin later this (May) month and the government expects to select a bidder later in the year.