ECONOMY

Greece’s OPAP delays launch of video lotto machines

Greece’s OPAP, Europe’s second-biggest gambling company by stock market value, is pushing back the launch of its video lotto machines (VLTs) by about three months to the second quarter of next year, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The new business is seen as a major growth catalyst for the company, which offers lotteries and sports betting through about 4,700 outlets in Greece.

OPAP had previously said it wanted the first machines to be rolled out in the last quarter of the year, but regulatory snags and negotiations with the operators of its retail outlets over their role in the project delayed the launch.

Chief Executive Kamil Ziegler told analysts on a conference call OPAP had set a target of before the early second quarter 2015 for installation of the machines to start.

He said the company expected by that time to have been able to allocate the resources needed to proceed with the implementation in the most effective way.

The company said it aimed to operate between 3,500 and 5,000 VLTs initially and to roll out all 16,000 by the end of next year.

The company has picked Italy’s GTECH, U.S. company Scientific Games, Britain’s Inspired Gaming and Czech-based Synot as its VLT vendors, Ziegler added.

[Reuters]