OPAP to make 40-mln bid for horse betting

Gambling firm OPAP has teamed up with a British fund manager to bid for the country’s horse race betting license, days after the privatization agency scrapped a previous tender.

Greece is selling a 20-year license to take wagers on horse races but the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) scrapped the tender this week.

TAIPED asked sole bidder Intralot on August 20 to up its bid of 5.25 million euros. The Greek firm was given until Wednesday to submit a new offer. Intralot’s improved bid was not disclosed but is believed to have been linked to future revenues and as such was deemed too uncertain by TAIPED officials.

OPAP said in a bourse filing on Friday its joint bid with Global Family Partners would be at least 40 million euros. OPAP, which was privatized last year, holds a monopoly in lotteries and sports betting in the crisis-hit country via about 5,000 outlets. It posted a 50 percent rise in first-half core profit on Wednesday.

The new tender is set to be launched within the next few days, with the aim of receiving binding offers by September 23. The license is valued at 15 million euros.

Horse race betting is currently run by a group called ODIE, which had a net loss of 23.4 million euros in 2012. [Combined reports]