Groups looking to bid for the national lottery licence have been asked to submit expressions of interest by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

The competition for the 20 year licence to operate the National Lottery is due to begin later this month, with the Government set to seek an up-front payment from the successful bidder.

The money raised has been ear-marked as funding for the new National Children’s Hospital.

The Government has said that applicants will need to show “significant financial capacity” to fund the required payment, as well as the relevant expertise to operate the lottery over the next 20 years.

Expressions of interest will need to be submitted by 7 June, while the deadline for full bids is currently set at 16 September.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform plans to notify the preferred and reserve applicants in October, with a licence being finalised in November.

The eventual competition winner will be expected to continue the lottery’s contribution to good causes, which will be calculated as a percentage of gross gaming revenues.