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Tailor-made laws in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Licence agreement for the national lottery - Tailor-made laws in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Licence agreement for the national lottery

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Introduction

Law No. 95/2013 formalised the procedure of awarding the national lottery licence to Austrian Lotteries (Östereichische Lotterien GmbH) through the company Olg Project Sh.pk. The opposition Socialist Party argued that the company appears to have been preselected. The then Finance Minister Ridvan Bode rejected the accusations.

Country
Albania
Sector
Public contracting
Type of Law
Capturing a market, an industry or public resources

Description of the law

Law No. 95/2013 formalised the procedure of awarding the national lottery licence to Austrian Lotteries (Östereichische Lotterien GmbH) through the company Olg Project Sh.pk. The opposition Socialist Party argued that the company appears to have been preselected. The then Finance Minister Ridvan Bode rejected the accusations.

While the law formalised the process, the auction procedure for the national lottery licence as regulated by Decision No. 25 of the Council of Ministers on 11 January 2012 included suspicious criteria (for example, a fixed price and the requirement of certain licences that added no value in the Albanian context). This led to allegations of a preselected winner. Also, as media reports revealed at the time, the criteria outlined in the decision were based on an assessment made prior to the auction process by the deputy director of the Austrian company that actually won the bidding procedure.

With the adoption of a special law to formally approve the licence agreement, the winning company gained additional guarantees. Specifically, Articles 5.4 and 5.5 of the licence agreement stipulate that Albania will not allow any other lotteries to be established for the 10-year duration of the licence agreement, giving the Austrian company a 10-year monopoly in the sector (see here). Austrian Lotteries started operating in Albania in April 2013.

Socialist Party MPs said they would repeal the law when they won election, but the contract has not been challenged since the new Socialist government took office in September 2013.