ECONOMY

Push for signing of lotteries deal

Intralot and Scientific Games are reportedly ready to pay their share of 20 million euros in the consortium led by OPAP for the signing of the contract for the operation of Greece’s state lotteries to proceed, in an effort to bring an end to the tense standoff between OPAP and its strategic investor Emma Delta.

Sources say that a letter sent by the two minority stakeholders to the consortium shows their intention to unblock the process by paying their share in cash for the contract that will provide the state privatization fund (TAIPED) with 190 million euros in a lump sum.

The two companies, which are also regular suppliers to OPAP, say that the capital required is available and can be deposited in a bank account. They stress that the signing of the contract for the technological suppliers constitutes a condition for the signing of the contract for the operation of the state lotteries as described in the agreement the parties involved signed last December.

In a recent letter TAIPED sent to OPAP, the fund has set a specific timetable for the signing of the outstanding contracts. TAIPED sources say that for the privatization of OPAP to proceed, the contract with the technological supplier will have to be signed, followed by the contract for the operation of the state lotteries, whose deadline is Thursday at noon, according to TAIPED.

Before that date, the consortium for the lotteries – with OPAP holding 67 percent, and Intralot and Scientific Games having 16.5 percent each – is required to complete a series of actions, such as covering the starting amount of the share capital (20 million euros) by June 27.

Emma Delta, which bid successfully for the controlling stake in OPAP, continues to object to the contract for the lotteries. While it has backed down on the issue of the price for the lottery license that it considers high, it insists on the right of the consortium’s main stakeholder to make the decisions. Emma Delta objects to the right to veto that minor stakeholders such as Intralot will have, and is examining ways of canceling that right even after the signing of the lotteries contract.