New Sports Betting Tender

Article by Rob van der Gaast

Turkish “Inteltek Internet Teknoloji Yatirim ve Daniflmanlik Ticaret” (Inteltek) under the authority of the Turkish Youth and Sports Directorate and Spor Toto Organization, provides the infrastructure for the central betting system used by Spor Toto and Iddaa games and is also responsible for risk management. 55% of the company is owned by Turktell Biliflim Servisleri (Turktell) and 45% by Greek Intralot. The company was established in 2004.

Inteltek was awarded a contract following a tender process in 2003, for the installation, support and operation of an on-line central betting system as well as maintenance and support for the provision of sports betting (mainly football) games.

Another separate contract authorized Inteltek to be the chief agent for the establishment of an agent network to provide fixed odds betting for football matches in Turkey. With respect to the fixed odds betting tender, Gtech Avrasya Teknik Hizmet ve Müflavirlik filed a lawsuit against the Turkish Youth and Sports Directorate for the annulment of the tender.

In February 2007, the Administrative Court of Appeals, which carried out the appeal process, decided on the injunction of the transactions related to the fixed odds betting tender. The court decided that only Public Agencies and not private companies were allowed under Turkish law to manage sports betting. Then the Turkish government submitted a bill to parliament to overcome the court veto and allowed a government agency to contract sports betting to private companies, as well.

In the meantime Inteltek could sign a new one-year temporary licence agreement with the Turkey’s regulatory authority Spor Toto, allowing it to continue all 4,000 points of sale for the Iddaa game throughout the Turkey. Inteltek’s operations recorded solid growth during 2006 and its revenue reached USD 165.7 million. A tender process will be launched this year for a long-term contract (ten years) to operate the Iddaa fixed-odds betting game.

Turktell is a wholly owned subsidiary of Turkcell’s founding shareholders Sonera Holding, formerly known as Telecom Finland Ltd. and currently owned by TeliaSonera, Çukurova Group and MV Holding. Turkcell employs 2,751 people as of December 31, 2006 and brings together a number of innovative ventures, such as Inteltek and Bilyoner.

Bilyoner Interaktif Hizmetler (Bilyoner)
Under the authority of the Turkish Youth and Sports Directorate, Bilyoner operates in the gaming business using electronic media such as mobile telephony, Internet, interactive television and IVR. Turktell has a 55% share in Bilyoner, with Intralot and Teknoloji Holding owning 25% and 20% of the company, respectively. The company was established in 2004.

On December 6, 2006, Bilyoner signed an agreement with the Milli Piyango Idaresi Genel Mudurlugu to offer national lottery tickets over its platform and started its operations in December 2007. 75%, 23% and 2% of the total gaming turnover of 2007 was generated from football related remote betting services, horse-race related remote betting services and national lottery ticket sales, respectively. 
By the end of 2007, had over 700,000 unique subscribers.