Cyprus Mail

Bill for privatisation of state lottery tabled to House

The finance ministry has sent to parliament the bill on the privatisation of the state lottery, aiming at transferring operations to a private investor for 15 years under the supervision of the National Betting Authority.

The bill, which was approved by the cabinet, provides for the granting of exclusive rights to a private investor. It also regulates the organisation, operation, and supervision of national lottery games forbids unauthorised lotteries and imposes restrictions on prize competitions.

The amendment was deemed necessary, the ministry said, to add the provisions concerning the privatisation of the national lottery but also because most of its provisions have never been changed the last 60 years.

The private investor will be chosen following a tender competition and will be granted the right to run instant win games, interactive instant win games, and passive games for 15 years under the supervision of the National Betting Authority.

From the bill, however, provisions have been scrapped relating to the lottery organised by state broadcaster CyBC which means that after the law is passed in parliament, the broadcaster will not be able to organise such events. The provisions have been scrapped following the advice of the attorney-general, the ministry said, “since this poses a risk to the principles of fair competition as it tends to establish a monopoly which affects CyBC’s competitors and the market itself, which is contrary to the provisions of the relevant state-aid legislation”.

As the bill amendment falls within an EU directive laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical regulations and of rules on Information Society services, after it is approved by the House committee that will discuss it, it will first be sent to the European Commission as a draft technical regulation and after this process has been completed, it will be passed into law the ministry said.

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