BUSINESS

OPAP-led consortium lands license to run lotteries

The state privatization fund (TAIPED) accepted on Wednesday an improved offer from the OPAP-led consortium for the concession of the license to operate all state lotteries for the next 12 years, but the amended terms are said to have led to the departure of Italian lottery operator Lottomatica from the bidding group.

Reports suggested that the original bid had been for a deposit of 125 million euros for the license, followed by 30 million to be paid to the state in the first year and a minimum of 50 million per year thereafter. TAIPED rejected that offer on Monday and called for an improved bid by Wednesday.

Lottomatica, which held a 33 percent stake in the consortium, had reportedly vetoed a deposit in excess of 150 million euros, while TAIPED asked for 190 million to be paid up front, due to the government’s dire need to show progress in the revenues collected from privatizations.

The state-managed OPAP gaming company, which had held a 34 percent stake in the consortium, is now said to have filled the vacuum left by Lottomatica’s departure, raising its stake to 67 percent, and increased the deposit to 190 million euros. This entails guaranteed revenues for the state of at least 770 million euros by 2024.

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