THE National Lottery licence is being sold without safeguards to protect good causes if the new operator doesn't hit its sales targets.
It is understood that there are no penalties contained in the licence agreement that would kick in if the new operator fails to increase sales and hike payments to good causes.
Last week it emerged that Gtech, one of the frontrunners to buy the €200m National Lottery licence, was involved in a blazing row over whether it has met targets in a US lottery it operates.
"A small number of contractual issues are currently being worked through," according to a company spokesman.
The Department of Public Expenditure declined to discuss if there were penalty clauses in the licence last week.
"The deadline for receipt of applications for the Lottery licence was at noon today (September 20). The evaluation phase has commenced and the department will not be making any comment at this stage," a spokesman said.
UK lottery operator Camelot has teamed up with An Post to bid for the licence, with Australian gambling group Tatts also said to be in the frame.
Revenue netted from the sale of the licence has been earmarked for a major downpayment on the planned €700m National Children's Hospital.