Intralot in need of Turkish rethink following loss of Sportoto concession

Greek business news sources have reported that Athens-listed Intralot SPA has lost its tender to continue servicing betting monopoly IDDAA.

Issuing a market filing this morning, Turkish telecoms giant Turkcell, Intralot’s joint venture partner for IDDAA operations, confirmed that Turkey’s Sportoto Organisation had awarded its monopoly betting license to ’Sans Girisim’ – a joint venture formed by Nasdaq-listed Scientific Games and Turkish media/entertainment conglomerate Demirören Holdings.

The outcome of the decision will likely see Intralot governance implement a corporate restructure, as the company loses a significant asset from its commercial pipeline, in which Turkish operations generate +40% of corporate revenues.

Further headaches will likely emerge from Intralot and Turkcell rearrangement their joint ownership of technology firm INTELTEK, the special purpose vehicle which has overseen IDDAA betting operations since 2004.

Celebrating 15-years’ operating in Turkey, last November Intralot governance announced that it would move ahead with plans to expand INTELTEK operating unit, developing a new technology hub for its strategic outfit.

At present, the INTELTEK will manage the IDDAA sports betting concession until August 2019.

Intralot governance maintains that the company will still have an active footprint within the Turkish market, operating online sports betting joint-venture Bilyoner, in-which its owns the majority stake 50.01%.

The Sportoto tender had been a brutal affair, contested by INTELTEK and Sans Girisim to secure the Turkish monopoly sports betting rights.

The Sans Girisim JV won the tender, dropping its concession to a 0.2% share on all sports wagering revenues, an offer INTELTEK partners could not afford to match.

Furthermore, during the tender process, questions were raised with regards to Demirören Chairman Yildirim Demirören close relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.

During the course of 2018, Turkish business concerns have been raised at  Demirören Holdings ability to snap-up media assets at a below market rate value, and without the Turkish government imposing checks and balances on competition standards.

Appeasing critics, Demirören chairman Yildirim Demirören quit his position as chairman of the Turkish Football Federation in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

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