Privatisation on the increase in the gambling industry?

Research and Markets answers a growing demand for factual information on state monopolies

The CEO's discussion panel earlier this week at EiG (see previous InfoPowa report) underlined the serious impact on the future of the industry of privatised/liberated state gambling monopolies and how these evolve.

It seems that the independent research company Research and Markets shares the general view on the significance of this sector and the growing trend in Europe to regulation, because it has produced a new look at the phenomenon.

"Privatization of State-Controlled Gambling Operators: Only Hype or a Reality in the Near Future?" is a completely updated second edition of the company's in-depth examination of the subject and where monopolies are headed, noting that privatisation is becoming acceptable in the global gambling market.

A company spokesperson said that in the past 12 months, many new developments had sparked increased interest in the market, with an growing number of clients requesting detailed updates on the original study. The current edition meets those demands and identifies additional issues.

These include the growing relevance of key drivers for privatisations - ever increasing legal pressure in most EU state; increasing liberalisation and/or tight state budgets. These are putting pressure on state owners to evaluate a potential privatisation of their gambling assets.

The report opines that there is now apparent a "drastic increase of likelihood that state gambling operations will be privatised soon - the number of experts surveyed who believe that some of the top state lotteries/operators will be privatised in the coming 2-3 years nearly doubled compared to MECN's 2005 analysis and survey."

Several privatisations are currently being considered - in addition to perennial "hot" privatisations, such as the UK Tote and Milli Piyango, many others are under discussion.

According to the Research and Markets update, several potential privatisations are expected to be at the top of the list: Some Australian and US lotteries/operators, the Hungarian State Lottery, and La Française des Jeux, to name just a few.

"Billions are on the table," the R and M spokesperson said. "Some of the lotteries/operators that are expected to be privatised in the near future are valued in the double-digit billion dollar range.

"Privatisation is no longer limited to only one method - in the future privatisation will not necessarily mean a change in ownership of shares; in addition, alternative forms such as long-term licenses that transfer responsibility for operations to private companies, are also possible.

The report includes:

* Analysis of selected potential privatisations and overview of state operators most likely to be privatised in the near future.
* Case studies of already privatised lotteries/operators.
* Valuation of relevant state-controlled gambling operators.
* Discussion of advantages, disadvantages, and options for privatisation of state-owned gambling operations.
* Many results based on a survey of more than 50 industry experts, including representatives from state lotteries, private online operators, and financial investors.

Over 80 companies are considered in the report, many leaders in the online gambling industry.

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