As the Deputy is aware, I announced in April 2012 that there will be a competition for the next National Lottery licence. The competition will involve an upfront payment by the operator of the next licence to the State, a portion of which will be used to help build the new National Children’s Hospital.
The National Lottery Bill was published in December 2012. The Bill was debated at Second Stage in the Dáil on 29th January, 5th February and 6th February 2013. It passed Committee Stage on 27th March 2013 and Report and Final Stages on 17th April 2013. It is expected that the Bill will be enacted in May of this year, subject to its successful passage through the Seanad.
The preliminary phase of the competitive process is expected to commence in the next few days. However, the full and formal process will not commence until after the Bill is enacted. The process is likely to run until August or September 2013, at which stage a preferred bidder will be chosen. It is anticipated that receipt of the upfront payment will materialise in the fourth quarter of this year. It is expected that the new 20 year licence will commence in 2014, subject to transitional arrangements.