As the Irish government deals with the economic repercussions of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund is taking steps to sell the National Lottery. As the largest and most popular game in the country, this move could have significant implications for both the Irish economy and the lottery industry as a whole. With one of Canada’s largest pension funds making moves to potentially acquire the lottery, it’s clear that there is a great deal of interest in the sale. In this article, we’ll explore the factors at play in this potential acquisition, and what it could mean for the future of the National Lottery.
The owner of the Irish National Lottery, the Canadian pension fund called the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), is reportedly planning to sell the business despite having more than 10 years remaining on its license. The OTPP, which controls Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), acquired a 20-year license to operate the franchise in 2014 for €405 million. It recently sold a UK lotto business, Camelot, to rival gaming group Allwyn after Camelot unexpectedly lost the concession to operate the UK lottery. The OTPP has declined to comment, but a UK media report indicated that it had hired Swiss bank UBS to advise on the matter. National Lottery ticket sales in Ireland surpassed €1 billion for the first time in 2021, according to the most recent financial results from PLI, with some €304 million raised for good causes during the year.
In light of the recent news that the National Lottery is set to be sold as Canadian pension fund owner, OMERS, plans to exit its stake in the Irish business, there is a sense of uncertainty about what the future holds for this iconic institution.
While the National Lottery has certainly had its ups and downs over the years, it has undoubtedly been a vital source of funding for countless good causes in Ireland, and its loss would be keenly felt by many.
As we wait to see who the new owner of the National Lottery will be and what changes, if any, they might bring to the table, it’s important to remember the enormous impact this institution has had on our society to date.
Let us hope that the new custodians of the National Lottery will continue to uphold its proud traditions and work tirelessly to ensure that it continues to support the causes that matter most to the people of Ireland.