Gidani Won’t Give Up South African Lottery Without a Fight

Fact checked by Lawrence Muller

lottery-gidaniThe current operator of the South African National Lottery, Gidani, has said that it intends challenging the government’s decision to grant the next lottery license to Ithuba Holdings. Gidani is obligated – under its current licensing mandate – to operate the lottery until May 2015, and after that, is due to hand over the reins to the newly appointed Ithuba Holdings.

However, Gidani said that while it would continue to carry out its obligations under its licensing deal with the South African government until next year, it would nevertheless ask a court to decide about the future of the lottery license. Games such as LOTTO, PowerBall, Wina and the scratch card Manje would continue to be available to South African lottery players without any interruption, said Gidani, and would be sold online, in supermarkets, specific lottery retail outlets and on banking platforms at least until May next year.

Ithuba Holdings was chosen last month by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies to take over South Africa’s third national lottery license, after a long bidding process took place. Ithuba is backed by the international gambling operator GTECH. The government completed negotiations with the group in recent days.

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The Chief Executive Officer of Gidani, Bongani Aug Khumalo said that it was his group’s current position not to make public announcements on its remedial options. He said that it was suffice to confirm the Minister’s statement that Ithuba Holdings was the preferred bidder and that Gidani had decided to challenge the decision as a result.

“Naturally, as a subsequence, internal consultations are taking place within and around the company with its internal and external stakeholders,” he said. Intralot is an equity member of Gidani.

Davies, when announcing his decision, said that he was unable to provide any more details as Gidani had opted to enter into legal avenues, which prevented him from commenting.

Gidani’s Khumalo also said the greater part of the group’s energy would be concentrated on enhancing its “managerial professionalism, technical competence and utmost integrity which we have conducted our business since the beginning.”

In 2006, Gidani was awarded a license to operate the South African National Lottery. Citizens of the country have benefitted from nearly R11 billion which has been raised for the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund since the lottery launched in 2007.Click here for Latest Lotto Results | Click here for Latest Powerball Results

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Fact-checked by: Lawrence Muller