Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March, 2022 at 1:48 pm by Andre Camilleri
Group looking at a €135 million investment in next 10 years
IZI Group is looking to the future with great optimism as it plans to undertake a further investment of €135 million in its operations over the next 10 years.
The Group has in fact committed an investment of €105 million payable to the Government of Malta for the 10-year exclusive concession for the National Lottery and a total capital expenditure of a further €35 million including the capital investment for the National Lottery, the upgrade of the Dragonara Casino and the modernisation of the IZIBET retail network.
What started as a small land-based gaming operator in 2002 under the name of Pinnacle Gaming Group, is today Malta’s most established land-based gaming company, operating Malta’s best-known brands such as the Dragonara Casino, IZIBET and in a few months’ time the National Lottery of Malta, a national service that for the last 18 years has been operated by Maltco Lotteries.
IZI Group through its subsidiary National Lottery plc will be taking over the operation of the National Lottery of Malta from Maltco Lotteries Limited on July 5th, 2022, the company that has been operating the National Lottery since privatisation of the same in 2004.
This will make IZI Group the first privately-owned local company to operate the National Lottery of Malta. The National Lottery operation provides the Group with an unparalleled opportunity to distribute products such as Lotto (established in 1923) and Super 5 while bringing new and innovative products to market. IZI Group will be working closely with the network of lottery agents that will serve as one of the primary stakeholders of this project.
In the past 20 years the IZI Group has grown from strength to strength, attaining market leadership position in all the land-based gaming verticals it has been actively engaged in, including casino, sports betting, and commercial bingo.
The Group’s first project of relevance came in 2006 when together with International Gaming Technology (IGT), formerly known as GTECH, IZI Group delivered a nation-wide Class II Electronic Bingo product, which back then was the first-of-its-kind installation in Europe. This project was a clear sign of the Group’s willingness to bring to market new products supported by innovative technologies. Over the years the Group further developed a retail gaming network until in 2015 it diversified further its product portfolio and started offering sports betting.
The Group was the lead consortium member to actively participate in the concession to operate the Dragonara Casino. The casino, which was established in 1964, had been operated by the International Group – Casinos Barriere since 1999. The Group through its subsidiary Dragonara Gaming Limited, embarked on a €20 million investment programme over 10 years, in a bid to modernize the casino and create stronger affinity with the local casino market. The Dragonara Casino is recognised nowadays as Malta’s foremost casino, attracting the largest number of visitors in the market amongst all other casino operators.
In 2015 it undertook one of the most remarkable branding initiatives in the local gaming market. The creation of the IZIBET brand and the introduction of sports betting through its network of retail outlets remains to this day a defining moment for Group. Further investment was undertaken to facilitate the growth of the retail network, supported by a strong focus on innovation crystallised through the introduction of Self-Service Betting Terminals (SSBTs) and mobile apps, through which, the local market gained easier and better access to the richest selection of retail gaming products.