Malta Lottery Operation Dispute


Betco's complaint about Maltco ended up with an injunction against government and regulator

An aspirant to Malta's lottery operator Betco, which acts for GTech, put a temporary freeze on negotiations between incumbent operator Maltco and the Lotteries and Gaming Authority regulator by obtaining an injunction against them.

The bitter row started with Betco Holdings claiming the right to be awarded the contract because preferred bidder Maltco was demanding that the LGA widens its existing exclusivity on other games, in addition to those included in the original tender: namely, the national lottery, Super Five, and the lotto. So Betco legal representatives called on the courts to declare the extended exclusivity on other games by Maltco, as "abusive and illegal"

According to Betco, the conditions in the call for tenders clearly spelt out the exclusivity rights, therefore if the discussions have not yet been concluded, the government's Privatisation Unit must move on to the second bidder, i.e. Betco.

Prior to the process beginning last March, the Privatisation Unit had made a verbal approach to both bidders explaining that "...the chosen bidder would be chosen on the financial offer, and that there were going to be no negotiations."

It is not permissible that after the bidders made their offers on the basis of the call for tenders, those same conditions are changed, violating the principles of equality and transparency which are applicable to any tendering process," announced Betco, claiming that the injunction is necessary to protect its commercial interests.

It is also said that in case Maltco was granted permission to operate games which were not scheduled in the call for tenders, Betco would be practically excluded from operating any business on the island.

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