Sisal-Sans JV wins Turkish lottery contract

15 August 2019

A joint venture between Italy's Sisal and Turkish media giant Demirören Holding has secured the operating rights to Turkey's national lottery Milli Piyango for the next ten years.

The JV, in which Demirören holds a 51% stake via its Sans Digital subsidiary and Sisal 49%, put forward a proposal that will see it guarantee a minimum annual contribution to state coffers of TRY9.32bn (£1.37bn/$1.67bn/€1.49bn).

iGamingBusiness.com understands Scientific Games is to serve as a key partner to the JV, as the exclusive instant win games provider, also providing retailer terminals and an instant ticket validation system. 

“In the evaluation process, the net present value, minimum revenue commitment and the minimum commission rate that the operator will receive over this revenue, as well as the experience, financial adequacy and technical infrastructure criteria of the participants were taken into consideration,” the TVF explained.

The Sisal-Sans bid was effectively uncontested, after rival bidders International Game Technology, Sazka Group and a joint venture between Intralot and Turkish internet service provider Doğan Online withdrew their offers late in the process, after the TVF upped its demands for a minimum annual contribution from TRY 7.5bn to 9.5bn.

It is the second major tender won by Demirören Group this year, after its Şans Girişim joint venture with Scientific Games secured another ten-year contract, to operate the country's sports betting monopoly Iddaa. This will see Scientific Games provide a turnkey sports betting solution for retail and online wagering, which is to be rolled out across more than 5,300 points of sale. 

Under the terms of the contract, Scientific Games is to also supply central system hardware and software, terminals and terminal software, as well as providing maintenance services and a risk management solution to support the retail operation.

Sisal also recently prevailed in a tender in its native market, securing a nine-year contract to operate the SuperEnalotto lottery game, and other national totalizator games, having been responsible for the game since its launch in 1997.

However the fact that the country's sports betting and lottery monopolies are in now held by one company - and one that already owns a number of national media assets - has raised concerns in some quarters. 

Faik Öztrak, a member of parliament for the opposition Republic People’s Party, questioned the tender process, noting that the Sisal-Sans JV was able to win it uncontested. Previous tenders that have only attracted one bidder have been scrapped and re-run. 

The Iddaa tender was originally won by Inteltek, a joint venture between Intralot and Turkcell, only to be cancelled then re-run as a result of there only being a single bidder. Demirören then contested the second tender, ultimately winning the process.

“It seriously makes you think that all of Turkey’s games of chance are now concentrated in the hands of one company," Öztrak told Ahval News. "We will carefully examine every detail of this one-participant tender,” Öztrak said.