Scientific Games Wins Bid to Power Turkey’s Sports Betting Operator

Scientific Games and a Turkish business conglomerate win the bid for the operation of Turkey’s state-owned sports betting brand

A joint venture between a company owned by the Turkish Football Federation’s boss and US gambling giant Scientific Games has submitted the winning bid in the tender for a sports betting provider for Turkey’s only legal betting company.

Reuters reported earlier today citing local media outlets that Turkish conglomerate Demirören Group and Scientific Games have joined forces to bid jointly for the right to provide a central betting system and a risk management solution for pari-mutuel and fixed-odds betting on different sporting events.

Demirören Şirketler Grubu, or Demirören Group, is partly owned by Turkish businessman Yıldırım Demirören. Mr. Demirören is the former Chairman of Istanbul-based sports club Beşiktaş, and the current President of the Turkish Football Federation.

With few exceptions, gambling is prohibited in Turkey. The state-run Iddaa is the only legal sports betting company in the country. The Turkish government launched last month a tender seeking bidders to provide Iddaa’s Spor Toto brand with a central betting system and a risk management solution that would power the provision of fixed-odds and pari-mutuel betting at retail betting locations throughout Turkey.

Interested participants were to submit bids in the form of revenue share agreements, stating the percentage of the total revenue generated bidders would like to collect in return for managing the sports betting product.

The Sans Girisim joint venture between Scientific Games and Demirören submitted an offer to receive 0.2% of the total revenue raised, down from its previous 2.1% bid.

Other Bidders

Spor Toto is currently operated by Inteltek, the joint venture between Greek gambling giant Intralot and Turkish telecommunications company Turkcell. Inteltek was too among the interested parties to submit an offer for the operation of the state-owned sports betting business and make it to the final bidding round.

The joint venture asked for a 0.5% share of the revenue generatedin return for the operation of the sports gambling brand. Its final bid represented a decrease from 1.4% during the first bidding round.

The Turkish government launched the tender process for the operation of the state-owned sports betting business last month. The opening of the bidding round came with certain conditions interested companies had to follow in order for their bids to be eligible for consideration.

The approved candidate will have to establish a central betting system within the Anakara Province. It will also need to have experience in running a land-based sports betting network of at least 500 shops. The Turkish government aims to establish a network of 6,000 outlets around the country. The risk management center will have to be based in Turkey. The Spor Toto project will be required to employ at least 100 people, including management and technical support staff.

The Turkish government targets revenue of TRY17 billion (approx. $3.2 billion) during the first year of operation of the revamped sports betting business.