Regions: Europe Central and Eastern Europe Germany Topics: Finance Tags: Online Gambling Veltyco commits to Germany as it pulls out of BTTY purchase AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 9th July 2018 | By contenteditor Finance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Germany still important to Veltyco despite pulling out of a proposed acquisition of BTTY’s owner Ruleo Alpenland Veltyco has committed its future to the German gambling market despite pulling out of a proposed acquisition of BTTY’s owner Ruleo Alpenland.Gaming industry marketer Veltyco said in a filing this (Monday) morning that it would not be pursuing a €6.5m (£5.7m/$7.6m) deal for the betting operator and its parent company that was first announced in February.Over the last five months London AIM-listed Veltyco has carried out due diligence on the firm, but said this morning that its board has “decided to terminate the negotiations” due to “recent developments regarding the German licence program that could impact on BTTY going forward”.A Veltyco spokesperson told iGamingBusiness.com today that doubts over the future of the company’s licence in Schleswig-Holstein following the recent announcement that existing permits will not be renewed after their expiration dates “makes an acquisition by Veltyco much more difficult to justify, especially at the initially agreed price of €6.5m”.The spokesperson added: “Veltyco will only consider acquisitions at the right price, so that the acquisitions can be accretive for Veltyco.”Veltyco, which has been led by chief executive Melissa Blau (pictured) for just over three months, has considerable interests in Germany, particularly since its purchase of sportsbook Bet90 last year. In its 2017 final results statement it described Bet90 as the “main driver” for growth in 2018, “as it continues to grow and expand into new markets”.The Veltyco spokesperson told iGamingBusiness.com: “The German market continues to be important to Veltyco and we are ideally positioned in the market through our own sports book brand Bet90 as well as through a marketing contract with Betsafe (Betsson Group).“We will however continue to look at acquisitions in the regulated markets, at the right price.”The news at the end of May that Veltyco would acquire Marsovia Holding from Altair Entertainment would certainly appear to back up suggestions that M&A opportunities are certainly not off the table.Moreover, the company last month unveiled significant growth in turnover and earnings for 2017.Back in February, Veltyco said it hoped to take BTTY beyond its existing markets in Germany and Austria.At the time it said in a statement: “The board of Veltyco believes that the proposed acquisition, if concluded, represents an exciting opportunity for Veltyco to grow BTTY, both in Germany and Austria and in to new territories, by using Veltyco’s expertise in online marketing, in conjunction with its experience in the online gaming industry.” Email Address
Lottery Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Opportunity for allWith younger generations focussing more on mobile, web and internet services, Richard Mifsud, CEO at Helio Gaming says: “There’s a great opportunity for lottery providers who want to do lottery in a better way and give the opportunity to the new generations to have gaming the way they want it.”He sees the vertical as an opportunity for many countries, and in particular in emerging markets, identifying Asia and Latin America as areas of significant growth. Additionally, Mifsud highlights Africa, where there are already a number of operators.He says: “The players in these markets have the same aspirations as in any other market, however, in this very unique market, what they want more is the excitement of low stakes and big win games.”Lottery equals loyaltyAs well as the company’s aim of working with state lotteries, Helio Gaming hopes to partner with various other operators such as casinos and sportsbooks, with Mifsud saying: “Up until today, they aren’t really benefitting from all of the opportunity that is being created by the new lottery vertical coming to the market.”Denis Wittebrood, sales and partnership relationship management at Helio Gaming says that loyalty is inherent to lottery players, which is something the company capitalised on with its portfolio of games and solutions.For instance, the solution enables operators to run campaigns to maximise on this loyal nature. Wittebrood says: “You can reward your loyal customers with free tickets, which also appeals to lapsed and dormant players. We’ve found in previous cases about 20% of player re-activation after a campaign.”Looking towards the futureAiming to keep pace with the evolving audience expectations, Helio Gaming is looking towards new opportunities in the lottery vertical.Casey Muscat, business analyst at Helio Gaming says: “We’re extremely excited about international lotteries – these are proven to be extremely popular. But what we’re really excited about is the introduction of live lotteries. We’ll be filming these from our Malta-based studios and really do believe these could be as popular as a live dealer is within a casino.With opportunities appearing across countries and for various types of operators, Helio Gaming puts forward a strong case for lottery as a solution to some of the concerns facing the industry. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 15th January 2019 | By Louella Hughes No matter what, growing your audience and increasing customer loyalty is always a priority for operators.With evolving player expectations and the oversaturation of the online gambling market, succeeding in these aims can be quite the undertaking.In a recently released video featuring a series of interviews from their subject matter experts, Helio Gaming, the lottery solution and game developers explain why they think lottery is the way forward. Big wins for lottery vertical Topics: Lottery Email Address
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: US Iowa DraftKings given go-ahead for Iowa betting debut 23rd August 2019 | By contenteditor DraftKings is to enter the newly regulated Iowa market through a partnership with Wild Rose Entertainment, which operates three casinos in the state. Topics: Sports betting DraftKings is to enter the newly regulated Iowa market through a partnership with Wild Rose Entertainment, which operates three casinos in the state.DraftKings and Wild Rose received approval yesterday (22 August) from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission after submitting applications and documentation to move forward with their partnership agreement to operate sportsbooks at properties in Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson.Wild Rose said it chose to name DraftKings as its first retail and mobile sports betting partner after evaluating the US market since Iowa’s new sports betting law was enacted in May. The move comes just over a week after the first legal bets were taken in the state, which has just over three million inhabitants.“Sports betting is the most energising change in Iowa gaming since the slot machine,” said Tom Timmons, president and chief operating officer of Wild Rose. “We couldn’t be more excited to be the first Iowa casino company to partner with DraftKings, which we view as the most recognisable name in sports gaming.“With DraftKings’ track record in mobile betting, we can reach more fans and customers who love sports. We can’t wait to be up and running.”Read the full story on iGB North America. Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Sports betting
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Tags: Online Gambling Payments Members of the Gaming Regulators’ European Forum (GREF) have completed their year-long study into gambling-like microtransactions in video games, but have opted against specific recommendations to introduce measures against the features. Topics: Legal & compliance 2nd October 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Email Address European regulators opt against loot box recommendations Regions: Europe Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Legal & compliance Members of the Gaming Regulators’ European Forum (GREF) have completed their year-long study into gambling-like microtransactions in video games, but have opted against specific recommendations to introduce measures against the features.In September 2017, gambling regulators from 19 countries including Malta, The Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and France launched a study into gambling-like microtransactions, including “loot boxes.” The regulators’ findings were published in a report published by French regulator Arjel today (2 October).The GREF members stated that they did not feel that it could recommend the introduction of gambling regulation regarding loot boxes, as how they could be regulated would depend on each country’s definition of gambling.“It is recognised that whether these activities ultimately trigger the implementation of gambling regulation, would depend on each national gambling definition,” the report said.The regulators instead encouraged consumer agencies to take the initiative in introducing rules around the features.“[GREF members] highlight the need for involvement of national authorities responsible for consumer protection, health, education as well as digital and financial regulation,” the report added. “Consumer protection associations are encouraged to make recommendations in this direction: for example, the communication before the purchase of the loot-box content and the probabilities of obtaining a particular virtual item.”GREF members also stated that greater awareness from parents was needed and that further dialogue was required to create solutions to the issue of loot boxes, which it says “expose and acclimatise,” teenagers to gambling.“Regarding minors, [GREF members highlight] awareness of parents, including the incentive for use of parental control in a systematic way; as well as the need to maintain a frank and productive dialogue with sector organisations to agree on more protective solutions, particularly amongst young people,” the report said.
STS Gaming Group has become the first Polish bookmaking business to secure a licence in the regulated UK gambling market. Regions: UK & Ireland STS Gaming Group has become the first Polish bookmaking business to secure a licence in the regulated UK gambling market.The bookmaker said that the move forms part of its long-term foreign expansion strategy, which has seen STS become the first Polish operator to launch its services outside of the country.STS is also active in Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar, Slovakia, Malta and Latvia, as well as Poland and the UK.“We are not only the largest Polish bookmaking company but the first domestic company in this industry that operates outside the domestic market,” STS chief executive Mateusz Juroszek said.“Obtaining a licence in the UK is the result of a consistently implemented international expansion strategy. We are always looking at other prospective foreign markets.”Juroszek spoke to iGamingBusiness.com at ICE London 2019 earlier this year about the bookmaker’s wider expansion plans, citing the UK and Germany as key target markets.Juroszek also revealed its intention to target new licences in both the UK and Malta as part of this strategy, but added that the operator would remain focused on its core Polish audience. Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 12th December 2019 | By contenteditor Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting Legal & compliance Poland’s STS secures Gambling Commission licence Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter
Finance Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 14th February 2020 | By contenteditor Email Address Restructuring costs hit LeoVegas’ earnings in 2019 Topics: Finance Online gambling operator LeoVegas has reported a sharp year-on-year decline in profit for 2019 as a result of depreciation, amortisation and impairment charges, despite seeing consolidated revenue increase by 9%.Revenue for the 12 months through to 31 December 2019 amounted to €356.0m (£296.4m/$386.2m), up from €327.8m.LeoVegas did not publish further details about its full-year revenue at this stage, but did give an insight into spending for the year. Marketing was the operator’s main outgoing, with costs amounting to €118.5m, though this was slightly lower than €120.8m in the previous year.Personnel costs increased by 20.5% year-on-year from €41.0m to €49.4m, while other operating expenses were down from €41.2m to €34.5m.Depreciation and amortisation costs jumped 108.2% to €10.2m and expenditure related to amortisation and impairment of acquire intangible assets, including goodwill, was up 52.6% to €26.7m.These charges pushed operating profit down from €19.2m in 2018 to €12.7m. Profit before tax dropped by 76.9% to €10.3m and, after paying tax of €730,000, net profit for the year was €9.5m, compared to €43.2m in 2018.However, LeoVegas did see adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation improve from €41.1m in 2018 to €44.2m last year.“During 2019 we worked hard to reduce complexity in the group, be more efficient and adapt to the changes taking place in the gaming industry,” LeoVegas chief executive and president Gustaf Hagman said.“In parallel with this we have enhanced the attraction of our product through new functionality and greater personalisation. We have launched new brands, focused more on Casino, and expanded to new markets.“Towards the end of the year we intensified the integration of our previous acquisitions, which is expected to contribute to cost savings and increased economies of scale.”Focusing on the operator’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2019, revenue was up 3% year-on-year to €87.1m. LeoVegas was boosted by a 7% rise in the total number of depositing customers in the period, while returning depositing customers was also up 14%.In terms of product performance, casino accounted for 72% of gross gaming revenue in the three months to 31 December 2019, with live casino on 19% and sports betting 9%.The Nordics were the main source of income for LeoVegas in Q4, accounting for 45% of total gross gaming revenue, ahead of the rest of Europe on 42% and the rest of the world on 13%.However, net gaming revenue was down 1% year-on-year, despite the operator noting growth in the Swedish market. Rest of Europe revenue was down 6%, with LeoVegas citing weak development of its Royal Panda brand in the UK as a particular concern in the quarter.Personnel costs for the quarter were up slightly to €12.3m, but other operating costs were down year-on-year. Marketing expenses were lowered from €32.0m to €29.9m, while other operating expenses were down from €11.6m to €8.1m.However, LeoVegas noted higher depreciation and amortisation costs of €2.7m, while amortisation and impairment of acquire intangible assets rocketed 251.2% to €14.4m.As a result, LeoVegas reported an operating loss of €2.5m for the quarter, compared to a profit of €2.6m last year. Loss before tax totalled €3.2m, a stark contrast to a profit of €22.3m in Q4 of 2018, while net loss amounted to €3.0m, compared to a profit of €22.1m last year.“A couple of weeks ago we communicated a number of strategic decisions coupled mainly to the UK and our ambitions to create a less complex and more scalable organisation,” Hagman said.“These initiatives gave rise to one-off restructuring costs that affected fourth quarter earnings by a total of €6.1m and are expected to lead to annual cost savings of approximately €3.7m. The savings consist mainly of platform and product costs, a more efficient organisation and more optimised premises.“As previously communicated, we are addressing the challenges in the UK by migrating all of our brands in the UK to our proprietary technical platform. In parallel with this we are refining our brand portfolio and closing Royal Panda in the UK.”However, he added, the measures would allow for a more focused and efficient operation, that would open up economies of scale within the group. Online gambling operator LeoVegas has reported a sharp year-on-year decline in profit for 2019 as a result of depreciation, amortisation and impairment charges, despite seeing consolidated revenue increase by 9%. Tags: Online Gambling
Tags: Online Gambling Finance Email Address Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has reported a year-on-year drop in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019, as the gaming solutions provider was hit by declines across both its B2B and B2C segments.Revenue for the three months through to 31 December 2019 came in at €29.4m (£24.5m/$31.8m), down from €39.9m posted in the corresponding period in the previous year.B2C was GiG’s main source of income during the quarter, but revenue from this division fell 26.4% year-on-year to €19.0m.Meanwhile, B2B revenue was also down 26.2% to €12.1m, while revenue from GiG’s B2B media services arm slipped 13.8% to €7.5m for the quarter.GiG is yet to publish its full report for the quarter, but it did reveal that it was able to cut other operating expenses by 11.0% to €13.7m in Q4, primarily due to it decreasing its employee headcount from 706 to 648.In addition, GiG said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the quarter stood at €4.8m, down 4.0% from €5.0m in Q4 of 2018.Key highlights in the quarter for GiG included the launch of a mobile sportsbook in Iowa with Hard Rock International, as well as securing a deal with William Hill is to launch the Mr Green brand in the Latvian igaming market.In addition, GiG entered into a new games licensing agreement with B2B casino games provider Swintt, and announced plans to launch GiG Data, a new next-generation data platform designed to integrate with its GiG Core igaming platform and third party solutions.Richard Brown, who took over as permanent chief executive of GiG in November last year, said that despite the revenue decline, the business is in a good position to pursue growth opportunities in 2020.“The dynamics in the online gambling industry, both competitive and regulatory, have changed dramatically in the last two years and we as a company are forcefully adapting to that,” Brown said.“We are coming out of a strategic review initiated in November last year, I am certain the actions taken will place the company in a truly exciting position for growth while securing the sustainability of the company’s financial position by significantly reducing its debt and leverage.”Publication of the financial figures comes after GiG last week announced that it was to sell off its B2C assets to Betsson in a deal worth €31.0m.The agreement will see Betsson take ownership of GiG’s Zecure subsidiary, to which all assets business activities, operations, front-end and middleware technology and gaming licenses required to run the sites will be transferred.The sale forms part of GiG’s strategic review, which was initiated in November 2019 in an effort to reduce complexity and improve efficiency. By divesting the B2C vertical, GiG said this will free up resources and as a result allow it to focus on securing stable and sustainable earnings and profit margins for its B2B arm. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter GiG sees revenue decline 26.2% in fourth quarter 18th February 2020 | By contenteditor Companies: GiG Topics: Finance Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has reported a year-on-year drop in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019, as the gaming solutions provider was hit by declines across both its B2B and B2C segments.
Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tech & innovation 10th August 2020 | By contenteditor Wind Creek and Pala Interactive launch igaming in PA The Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ casino business Wind Creek Hospitality has joined forces with Pala Interactive to launch a new online gambling platform for Pennsylvania’s Wind Creek Casino.Consumers in the state will have access to a range of real-money casino games, with Pala Interactive to power the platform using its online player account management system.The new offering will run alongside Wind Creek Casino and Pala’s existing free-to-play social casino platform in the state. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved the launch of the new platform last month.“Pala Interactive has been a great partner supporting our needs throughout the preparation for this launch,” Wind Creek Hospitality president and chief executive Jay Dorris said.Read the full story on iGB North America. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ casino business Wind Creek Hospitality has joined forces with Pala Interactive to launch a new online gambling platform for Pennsylvania’s Wind Creek Casino. Tags: Online Gambling Topics: Tech & innovation Regions: US Pennsylvania AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address
Nevada gaming revenue grew 33.5% month-over-month to $756.8m in July, as the state’s recovery from its novel coronavirus (Covid-19) shut-down continued, with the sports betting vertical rebounding from June’s loss. Regions: US Nevada Topics: Casino & games Finance Sports betting Nevada sees gaming market recovery continue in July Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Nevada gaming revenue grew 33.5% month-over-month to $756.8m in July, as the state’s recovery from its novel coronavirus (Covid-19) shut-down continued, with the sports betting vertical rebounding from June’s loss.However, July’s total still represented a 26.1% decline from the prior year, at a time when social distancing requirements are in place, and rising Covid-19 cases have prompted new restrictions in some state counties.The $756.8m total included a $210.4m contribution from table, counter and card games, down 35.9% year-on-year, but featuring a much-improved performance from sports betting.After June saw the vertical post its first monthly loss in almost seven years, revenue rebounded in July, reaching $6.3m. However, this again represented a decline on the prior year’s revenue of $10.5m.Based on a win percentage of 3.85%, amounts wagered in the state came to $163.5m – more than double June’s $77.9m total – of which $112.9m was staked via mobile devices. Baseball, in a month where Major League Baseball began its regular season, was the most popular US sport, accounting for $65.4m of stakes and $4.4m of revenue.However, other sports represented by properties outside the US major leagues continued to account for the majority of spending and yield, contributing $80.3m in stakes, and $5.5m of revenue.Read the full story on iGB North America. 26th August 2020 | By contenteditor Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address
4th September 2020 | By Joanne Christie Despite the Gambling Commission’s stated aims of attracting a number of bidders for the fourth licence competition, there’s a possibility of yet another two-horse race, says Joanne Christie. Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Lottery Despite the Gambling Commission’s stated aims of attracting a number of bidders for the fourth licence competition, there’s a possibility of yet another two-horse race, says Joanne Christie. When the Gambling Commission kicked off the fourth National Lottery licence programme in late 2018, it looked as if Camelot was set to face stiff competition to hold on to the UK lottery.The Commission appeared to be casting the net far and wide in a bid to avoid the two-horse race of the previous two National Lottery tenders.It also made all the right noises about encouraging innovation and courting those with strong tech leanings. Indeed, in the early days even Lottoland said it was considering a bid.In the middle of last year, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur said he expected four or five companies to bid for the tender, and certainly the reported number of interested bidders supported this view.Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was an early rumoured contender, Health Lottery operator Northern & Shell declared an intention to bid and Czech gaming conglomerate Sazka Group also seemed keen.Once a manager was brought in to oversee the process, rumours started to fly about other potential bidders, with Australia’s Tabcorp, France’s La Française des Jeux and Dutch postcode lottery operator Novomedia all names that were bandied about.But fast forward to last week’s official launch of the competition and the field seems to have narrowed.Even before novel coronavirus (Covid-19) hit, potential bidders were becoming disgruntled by delays to the process, which they saw as favouring Camelot.The pandemic brought about not only further delays – and an extension to Camelot’s licence – but also big changes in circumstances for some of the potential bidders. Narrowing field In early May it was reported that Branson was abandoning his bid due to the travails of other Virgin businesses, particularly its airlines.Shortly afterwards, Northern & Shell owner Richard Desmond came under fire over a controversial planning approval, which prompted Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens to express concerns over his suitability to bid.Since then there’s been no confirmation as to whether or not Northern & Shell is still bidding, though it’s worth pointing out that even Camelot and Sazka have shied away from making a firm commitment.At this point, it’s hard to say with absolute certainty that any particular company will bid. Kamlesh Vijay (pictured, right), group CEO and director at Sugal & Damani, which lost out to Camelot last time the licence was up for renewal, says he doesn’t think the Commission has done enough to encourage bids.“We find it a little bit uncomfortable and see the Gambling Commission as not pursuing a process that attracts many parties, or not creating encouraging conditions for them to bid.“There is nothing at stake as far as the Gambling Commission is concerned. They are not taking even minor risks while searching for a new party. They are comfortable that they already have one party in hand. Whether other parties come in doesn’t make any difference to them.”Sugal & Damani, which operates licensed lotteries in India, as well as supplying technology solutions for lotteries in various other countries via its Skilrock Technologies arm, had publicly attacked the 2007 decision by the previous regulator, the National Lottery Commission (NLC), to award the licence to Camelot, threatening legal action. Similarly, Branson had criticised the NLC and also threatened court proceedings after he failed to secure the licence in 2000.However, Vijay says he did not see the Gambling Commission’s process this time around as being any different from that of the NLC.“The Gambling Commission is basically not changing its position; it just wants to repeat a similar process to what has been done before with a change in optics.“Theoretically, they may be doing everything but practically they are not doing anything for a change. They are asking for suggestions just for the sake of showing it up on their records but then those suggestions are not being seriously considered.”Among the suggestions Vijay says he put forward in his discussions with the Commission about the tender was that it should bear the cost of participation for the successful bidder, and that it should split the licence into multiple licences to encourage competition in the market. However, he says “there was no favourable response”.“They are going with the same single licence concept that practically favours the incumbent and it is going to be very difficult for any participant to replace the incumbent of 25 years.”Significant licence changes For its part, the Gambling Commission would not comment on any suggestions or discussions regarding those it had engaged with during the process, however, it must be noted that significant changes have been made to the licence this time around.For a start, it is fixed for a 10-year period with no possibility of extension by the licence holder. This marks a big shift from the current licence, which although initially for 10 years, Camelot was able to extend by four years back in 2012.Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is the change in the way Good Causes contributions are calculated.In what is being referred to by the Gambling Commission as the ‘incentive mechanism’, Good Causes contributions will be collected in two parts. The first is a fixed sum that must be contributed irrespective of sales. The amount of this fixed contribution will form part of the bid put forward by each contender.In effect, if the licence holder doesn’t meet its sales targets, it could find itself making a loss as it will not be able to reduce this fixed contribution.In addition, the licence holder will have to give a percentage of any sales over and above the fixed contribution level to Good Causes, meaning contributions will rise in a similar proportion to profits.It is likely this change came about as a result of criticism of the current licence by the Public Accounts Committee back in 2018. It issued a report expressing concerns over the fact that Camelot’s profits had risen 122% since the beginning of the current licence, but that returns to Good Causes had risen by just 2% over the same period.The cross-party group criticised the lack of flexibility in the licence contract, saying: “Camelot has made profits well in excess of what was envisaged in the original 2009 licence, whilst returns for good causes have dropped.”However, Vijay points out that when Sugal & Damani tendered its bid for the last licence, a firm commitment to Good Causes was not enough to sway the NLC.“I would like to draw your attention to the third licence, wherein we had benevolently made a commitment to cap our net profit to 1%, thereby passing on the benefits to Good Causes,” he says. “Why should Good Causes increase only by 2% when Camelot’s profit increased by 122%?”Bidders on the fence Despite reservations about the process, perhaps surprisingly Vijay has not ruled out participating in this competition.“We are very much in the game, we are in the final stages of creating a strong consortium of credible partners, the details of which I don’t want to disclose at this moment.”While not exactly a definitive answer, this is perhaps the least non-committal response by any bidder since last week’s announcement.Northern & Shell has not responded to a request for comment from iGB, while Sazka says it has not yet reached a final decision on whether or not to bid.Even Camelot is keeping quiet over its plans. “We’re not in a position to confirm whether or not we’ll bid at this stage as we’ve not seen the final Invitation to Apply,” says a spokesperson.Despite the parties not confirming their intentions, it seems fair to assume that both Sazka and Camelot will bid. In particular, the former’s appointment last month of UK lobbying firm Flint Global as an adviser seems a pretty clear indication it’s still in the running.Exactly who else is in the running remains to be seen, but with the competition now officially underway, speculation should soon give way to certainty. Déjà vu for National Lottery competition? Topics: Lottery AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: UK & Ireland