888’s Delaware ownership in trouble as state lottery opens the door to bids
Delaware State Lottery has invited interested operators to submit a proposal for its exclusive igaming contract which has been held by 888 over the last decade.
Seeking proposals from vendors who are capable of providing an internet wagering solution that can integrate a wide range of games from an array of sources, the state lottery launched a request for proposals consisting of a player account management platform and operational and support services.
In addition, the proposals will also include online games including casino table games, video lottery, poker, bingo and keno.
The management of igaming in the First State has been under the sole ownership of 888 since the operator signed an exclusive contract with the state lottery back in 2013. Over the last decade, the deal has received numerous extensions.
Interested applicants can submit any written question by February 3 and submissions must be entered by February 17.
Following the submission deadline, between March 1 to March 15, time has been reserved that will see the state lottery open dialogue with vendors, and negotiations with selected partners will commence on March 24.
Delaware State Lottery has stated that it expects the process to be concluded by “late spring”, after the round of presentations and negotiations, with the proposal stating its intent to behind production operations “no later than November 1”.
The decision on the proposals will be in the hands of the Evaluation Committee, composed of representatives of the state of Delaware, who will evaluate proposals on a variety of quantitative criteria.
Interested vendors should have operated in the US for a minimum of one year and have one or more live clients in the US, either government or private/commercial entity, to whom the vendor has legally supplied products or services in the internet wagering sector. This includes PAM, support services and games.
Another requirement includes having offered a minimum of 30 games or internet sports betting, the latter being an area of concern for 888 if the firm decides to put its name forward when compared to some of its competitors.
The insecurity of its Delaware future comes a mere week after 888 released its post-trading update for the last 12 months, which witnessed a drop in its online sector, with the firm’s acquisition of William Hill last year driving the overall stability of the company.
Pinpointing to more proactive enhanced player safety measures in the UK online vertical, as well as the closure of the Netherlands, 888’s online sector dropped by 15 per cent to £1.3bn (2021:£1.57bn).