Turkish government launches sports betting tender

11 January 2019

The Turkish government is accepting proposals from bidders for a new contract to power sports betting for state-owned gaming operator SportToto.

The tender is seeking applicants capable of providing a central wagering system and risk management solution for fixed-odds and pari-mutuel betting on sporting events.

To secure the ten-year contract, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have experience of running a sports betting network of at least 500 outlets, with at least 6,000 to be operated throughout Turkey.

They will be required to establish the central betting system within Ankara Province, while the risk management centre must also be based on Turkish soil. The successful applicant will also be expected to employ at least 100 staff dedicated to the SporToto project, including management and technical support staff.

Bids are to be filed in the form of proposed revenue share agreements, which state what percentage of total revenue raised the applicant is willing to receive in return for operating the fixed-odds betting product.

In total, the Turkish government aims to generate 17bn Lira (£2.4bn/€2.7bn/$3.1bn) in revenue from the offering’s first year in operation.

However, companies will not be permitted to form consortiums when applying for the tender, though bids from joint venture companies will be accepted. This means the current operator of SporToto’s Iddaa-branded sports betting offering, the Inteltek joint venture of Intralot and local telecommunications giant Turkcell, will be able to make a bid.

Inteltek, established in 2001, has served as the exclusive provider of fixed-odds and pari-mutuel betting since 2004, and secured a new, ten-year contract in 2008. It then extended the deal by a year in August 2018. Over the past 11 years, SporToto has seen its share of the country's sports betting market grow to 56%, with turnover rising to $3.5bn.

Last year Inteltek announced that it was to establish a software development hub in Turkey, with a focus on developing new mobile wagering products and services, employing more than 100 staff in the new facility.

Bidders have until 09:30 AM on February 11, 2019 to submit their proposals to SporToto.

SporToto is one of only two legal gambling operators in Turkey, alongside national lottery operator Millî Piyango İdaresi.