Premier numbers come up as lottery gets new operator

 Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, left, and National Lottery boss Dermot Griffin, as Premier Lotteries was awarded the licence to operate the lottery. Picture: PA

The new operators of the National Lottery have signed the licence to run the Lotto and other games for the next 20 years.

Premier Lotteries Ireland will pay the first instalment of the €405m winning bid for the franchise to operate the National Lottery in the near future. The remainder will be paid when the new licence is activated in October.

The new operators are a consortium that includes the outgoing licence holder, An Post as well as the UK lottery group, Camelot, and its owners the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has indicated that around €200m of the receipts will be ringfenced for the new national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital in Dublin.

The monies be also used to help fund projects including the development of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route, and 1916 Commemoration projects.

Premier Lotteries yesterday promised to build on existing strengths of the National Lottery by introducing gaming innovations and further enhancing the player experience, while maximising returns for good causes.

Under the licence terms, Premier Lotteries will have to pay 65% of its gross revenues to good causes, while retailers will retain their same commission levels for selling tickets.

Premiers Lotteries will particularly focus on growing online gaming.

Earlier this month, 112 staff at the National Lottery backed proposals for the transfer of the business to the new operator by a narrow margin of 57-50 votes with five abstaining.

Many staff were concerned about the discontinuation of their secondment arrangement from An Post.


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