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Bwin 'not eyeing stake in Spanish state lottery'

Source: Reuters - Mon 6th Dec 2010

Austrian online gaming company bwin denied a newspaper report that it could take a stake in Spain's state lottery.

"Bwin is focusing on the online business and as a result has no interest in the Spanish lottery" a spokesman said on Monday.

Spanish paper El Mundo had reported on Sunday that Bwin was among the frontrunners to buy a 30% stake in Spain's state lottery.

The newspaper highlighted Spanish companies Codere, Cirsa and Recreativos Franco, and Italy's Lottomatica as other possible buyers.

Bwin sponsors soccer team Real Madrid and is merging with Britain's Partygaming.

Spain's Socialist government announced plans on Wednesday to partially privatise the lottery to cut its debt. It is by far Spain's most lucrative public enterprise, with an estimated 2.6 billion euros of revenues for 2010.

The government expects to raise 5 billion euros from the sale of the business, which is best known for its massive "El Gordo" and "El Nino" draws. The planned sale could involve a stock market listing.

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