The body which controls gambling in the central European country of Moldova, the Public Property Agency (APP) is to reportedly shed its monopoly over gambling in the country.
According to reports on the Balkan Insight website, the APP is to end its monopoly on gambling and lotteries, announcing plans to implement a public-private partnership with two EU companies which will see the businesses run the APP’s operations on its behalf.
This move follows the 2016 crackdown against illegal gambling and casinos by the then largest party in the Moldovan parliament, the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) and its leader Vlad Plahotniuc.
Later in 2016, Plahotniuc instituted a law to bring the provision of gambling services under a state-run entity as a way of ending illegal gambling, while also reducing the number of problem gamblers in the country.
The first company to win the right to operate slot machines in Moldova is Novo Gaming M Technologies GmbH, a division of Austrian gaming company NOVOMATIC AG. The agreement stipulates that Novo Gaming will be required to contribute 51% of slot machine revenues back to the National Lottery of Moldova.
The second contract, which entitles the winning company to provide lottery and sports betting services was won by NGM SPC Limited, a partnership between National Lottery AD, Bulgaria’s largest gambling operator, Market AD, and NGM SPC Ltd.
As with the first company, NGM SPC will be required to contribute a high proportion of their revenues back to the National Lottery of Moldova, the difference in this case being that NGM SPC must contribute 90% of their sports betting revenue generated from local betting customers back to the state.
In addition under the terms of the contracts, the two foreign businesses are required to contribute 75% of their lottery revenues back to the National Lottery of Moldova.
Similar public-private partnerships currently operate in Romania, Moldova’s neighbour, albeit at a lower contribution percentage.