Lebanon’s only casino operator says it’s looking for an online gambling technology partner, with a preference for mid-tier company that won’t cost too much and aren’t run by Israelis.
On Friday, Casino du Liban announced a request for proposals (RFP) for “the implementation of an internet gaming platform with operations management to be based in Lebanon.” The platform will host “an array of gaming content from multiple providers” of sports betting, live and RNG casino, poker and eSports products.
Would-be platform providers must have three or more current clients in “licensed markets or under a governmental license” to whom they have been working for at least three years. Companies “not working under regulated online gaming solutions environment are not eligible” to apply. Proposals must be accompanied by a US$25k bond.
Casino du Liban chairman Roland Khoury told the Daily Star that, while would-be providers “need to have hundreds of millions of dollars of business each year,” his company was looking for “B category” because ‘A’ companies “are too expensive for us.” Khoury also said that “Israeli firms” were ineligible to participate in the tender.
Applicants need to submit their proposals by June 20. Once these initial offers have been vetted, a deadline for final betting will be set. That deadline will likely come quickly, as the casino hopes to launch its online offering by the end of the year or in early 2021.
Casino du Liban holds a casino monopoly in Lebanon, with its current license due to expire in 2026. Khoury added that the government had offered Casino du Liban assurances that “no other gaming platform will open in Lebanon.”
Sharp-eyed readers will recall that Casino du Liban has voiced similar online intentions on multiple occasions, with the last plan being announced one year ago this month. So it remains to be seen whether these latest plans will amount to anything, although the company now has a much greater financial incentive to diversify its revenue.
Casino du Liban closed in mid-March due to COVID-19 concerns, one month after the property north of Beirut publicly denied reports that one of its customers had tested positive for the coronavirus. Khoury said that the closure had so far cost the company between $35m and $40m in lost revenue, which deprived the government of up to $20m in taxes.
The property was planning to reopen on May 11 but the relaunch was postponed “till further notice,” apparently on concerns expressed by the interior ministry. Khoury suggested Friday that the ministry could issue its approval to reopen as early as this Monday (25).