Johann Schembri, CEO of National Lottery plc, has commemorated the beginning of ‘a new era’ for the National Lottery of Malta, which will deliver an ‘innovative, forward looking’ service after the company began operating the lottery.
Schembri spoke at a commemorative event ‘Saluting Battery’ at the Upper Barakka Gardens in Valetta after IZI Group, parent company of National Lottery plc, was awarded a 10-year contract to run the National Lottery of Malta.
The firm won the bid for the procurement after bidding €105m, replacing the previous incumbent MaltCo Lotteries as it failed to bid for a second licence period.
Despite a legal challenge from Sisal Malta Consortium, made up of Sisal, Eden Leisure Group and Scientific Games, the court ruled in National Lottery plc’s favour for it to begin operations on the lottery.
Set to host its first draw next week, the group is dedicated to bringing the brand into the future, delivering technological innovation and hosting a fair service.
Schembri stated: “We are committed to delivering an innovative, forward-looking and above all, fair and transparent national lottery service, powered by the world’s leading lottery technology company – IGT.
“We are also proud and privileged to be the first fully-owned Maltese company to operate what essentially is the most important gaming operation in Malta, which now allows our Group to take an active role in all the land-based gaming business verticals.
“Our aspiration is to take the national lottery of Malta to unprecedented levels in line with the highest operating standards found in Europe.”
Some improvements expected to be introduced include improved odds of its Lotto brand, eliminating prize capping, and delivering larger jackpots for the Super5 game, as well as introducing a new Tuesday Lotto draw.
Other new games will include add-ons to the Super5 game, and a new digit game titled Pick3.
Finally, the group has secured the roots to distribute IZIBET, a Maltese sports betting brand, to increase its range of wagering products to its players.
Silvio Schembri, the Minister of Economy in Malta, expressed his satisfaction as the licence changed hands to those of the National Lottery plc.
He added: “I’m sure that the new National Lottery Licensee shall continue to enhance the popular games such as the Lotto, and Super 5 among others, as well as introduce other lottery games which will further enrich the games portfolio.
“Together, we have ensured that National Lotteries plc will be committed to promoting, designing, and putting into practice the principles of actively responsible gaming while protecting the personal well-being of players.
“The national economic profit that translates from gambling should be given importance, but not at the expense of the player.”