Taiwan to Award Lottery License
By staff
Taiwan is set to announce who is to have the right to control its sports lottery in the run-up to the launch of sports gambling next year.

The Ministry Of Finance for the Asian nation held a final selection meeting Monday to review applications from three finalists and it is expected to announce the winner this week. The three bidders for what could be a very lucrative deal were Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Fubon Bank and Bank of Kaohsiung.

Chinatrust is teaming up with Australian consultant company SMC while Fubon Bank has invited the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which operates horse racing in Hong Kong, to act as its consultant.

The winner is to get a six-year license to operate sports gambling stating on April 15, 2008. The sports lottery will cover betting on several sports including US and Taiwan baseball and basketball as well as horse and car racing.

Taiwan launched a public welfare lottery in 2000 to benefit the handicapped by allowing them to sell lottery tickets and decided to launch a sports lottery and use the proceeds to promote sport and stimulate the economy. Analysts predict that the sports lottery could bring $600 million into the Governmentís coffers, about one-fourth the revenue from the public welfare lottery.

Foreign lottery providers are currently eying Taiwan's sport lottery as they could supply software and hardware for the nationís sports gambling market.

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