08 MAY 2002

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Lotto department cuts advertising as privatisation date looms

The department of lotto has recently decided to stop advertising as the date for its privatisation draws nearer.

With experts expecting public lotto to be next on the list for privatisation after Malta International Airport, the department has been carrying out a wide-ranging exercise looking at various aspects of its operations. One of the decisions has been to stop almost all its advertising in the media.

Until recently, the government’s plans to privatise the department were still largely unknown, although changes were reported to be on the horizon for Malta’s lotto games, in particular the traditional ‘Tiritombla’, the ‘Super 5’ and even the ‘National Lottery’. Three foreign companies have been short-listed for the take-over of the department, which is expected to see the games given an overhaul or even replaced.

Only two lotto games did well last year - the traditional Saturday lotto, which produced the major profits for the department - net profits amounting to Lm3.2 million with sales reaching the Lm11.2 million mark - and the new VAT lottery.

‘Tiritombla’ is largely thought to have reached the end of the road, with sales showing a gradual drop.

On 15 May 2001, the Privatisation Unit issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting interested parties to submit their bid in relation to the operation of public lotteries in Malta.

The RFP is part of an information package which also includes useful background information relating to the Department of Public Lotto (DPL), which will assist bidders in gaining a more complete understanding of the DPL and its market.

The closing date for submissions was 13 August 2001. The lotto game was introduced in the 15th century. By the end of the 17th and 18th century lotto became exceedingly popular being introduced in a number of European states.

It was probably at this time that Maltese bettors were introduced to this game. Still it was only in 1922 that the Lotto Act was enacted for the running of lotto in Malta. Since then the Lotto Game has attracted an ever-increasing number of participants. With 70 per cent of the adult population, particularly, those over 40 years participating in the game, lotto is by far the most popular game of chance in Malta.

 



Copyright © Network Publications Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07, Malta
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