Bill to extend OPAP’s license offsets reduction of video lottery machines


Greece-based OPAP said the adverse impact from a draft government bill cutting the number of video lottery machines (VLTs) allowed to operate in the country will be offset by a plan to extend its betting license. “The revised terms will have a neutral effect for OPAP,” Damian Cope, the company’s chief executive officer, told a conference call with analysts Wednesday.

Under its current contract with the government, Europe’s fifth largest betting firm would operate 16,000 machines and subcontract another 18,000, expanding into a new business which is seen as a key growth driver for the firm.

The Greek government tabled a draft bill in August reducing the number of machines to be deployed to 25,000 from 35,000 by the end of 2019, aiming at smaller exposure to gambling and more effective supervision by authorities.

The bill also extends OPAP’s license by eight years and says the firm will not have to subcontract any of the machines. OPAP introduced the new machines earlier this year. It now operates more than 5,000 machines and plans to have a total of 10,000 machines in place by the end of the year, Cope added. [Reuters]