One to Nothing

Interest for a stake in the lotteries business has dwindled to one bidder, from nearly 40 contenders vying for the gamble at the start of the process in December 2002.
Leading bluechip firms, game operators (casinos and bookkeepers) and international lottery managers were among the firms interested, PERC officials said in an earlier in January 2003. rn

rnHowever, special advisor to the Prime Minister, R. Paskaralingam told Lanka Business Online on Monday that only one bid was being considered. rn

rnThe single bid, below states revenue indications is being reviewed by a Cabinet appointed Tender Board, with a final verdict due later in March, Lotteries officials said. rn

rnThe government was expecting bidders to put up Rs. 3 billion up front and agree to a 15 per cent return (set as the minimum return). rn

rnPublic Enterprises Reform Commission (PREC) officials were unavailable for comment. rn

rnMeanwhile, industry sources say the idea of a third player into the lotteries market was being flau