No bid from Maltco in €105m lottery takeover

Under IZI Group’s management, all Maltco outlets will now be rebranded to National Lottery


IZI Group plc will be taking over the running of Lotto, Super 5 and other lotteries from Maltco Lotteries after submitting a winning bid of €105 million for a 10-year concession to manage and operate the National Lottery of Malta.

Maltco, which had operated the National Lottery of Malta since 2004, did not submit a bid, sister newspaper BusinessToday has learned. 

IZI Group was set up in 2004. IZIBET is the sports betting brand of the group and was launched in 2015.

The group operates a network of 40 high-street betting outlets and is the majority shareholder of the Dragonara Casino.

IZI Group participated in the bid for the management and operation of the National Lottery of Malta through its subsidiary National Lottery plc, backed up by International Game Technology owned by Lottomatica and formerly known as GTECH.

National Lottery plc was incorporated on 16 September 2021 and is owned wholly by IZI Group plc, which in turn is owned by gaming entrepreneur Johann Schembri. Schembri is a director and shareholder of Dragonara Gaming, which is also owned by his IZI Group (60%), and Michael and Raphael Bianchi’s Toss A Coin Limited (40%).

Maltco, which took over the lotteries concession back in 2004, is owned by Greek firm Intralot Global Holdings (73%), Associated Supplies Limited (3%), and The Players Group (24%), a partnership between the Bianchi Group, Mizzi Organisation, Mariolot, and Jeanlot.

A consortium including the Eden Leisure Group, Italian operator SISAl and Scientific Games as technology provider and shareholder also participated in the tender this time.

This is the second attempt by IZI Group after it participated in the last bid in 2012 and lost against Maltco Lotteries. Then, Maltco submitted the highest bid of €39,100,000.

All existing lotto shops operating as Maltco will now be rebranded to National Lottery while IZIBET will be the sports betting brand and product.

According to BusinessToday, National Lottery plc will build on the main products of Lotto and Super 5, introducing two add-on games to Super 5. The new operators will also be reintroducing Tirtombola and strengthening the Instant Lottery products (scratch cards).

The popular in-store Quick Keno will be retained and strengthened further.

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