ECONOMY

OPAP threatens legal action on video lotto

opap-threatens-legal-action-on-video-lotto

Greece’s biggest betting firm OPAP said on Friday it could take legal action if the country does not move quickly to review the rules for the launch of its video lottery business.

OPAP, one of Europe’s biggest gambling firms, had planned to start operating the first of its 16,500 video lottery machines at the end of June but put the project on hold after Greece unexpectedly imposed tougher rules on June 12.

“With the current regulation, the project is not doable,” Kamil Ziegler, OPAP’s chief executive, told an analysts conference call.

Ziegler said that OPAP was committed to the investment but was also working on an alternative plan.

“We are in a situation that we cannot just think about the Plan A… but we are seriously thinking and preparing ourselves for the Plan B,” he said, adding that this would be local and international litigation.

The new rules are designed to protect consumers who could risk losing large sums or becoming addicted.

They call for lower jackpot levels, daily loss limits and curbs on the length of play time allowed.

It was not clear how much the delay would cost the Greek state, which would receive significant revenues from the new business.

In a June proposal that Greece made to creditors, the government estimated it could reap some 35 million euros in 2015 and some 225 million in 2016 in revenues from video lottery terminals.

[Reuters]