ECONOMY

Bets off at OPAP 
after shutdowns

bets-off-at-opap-after-shutdowns

OPAP, Europe’s fourth-biggest betting business, said it had seen almost all its revenue wiped out by the closure of its outlets due to a coronavirus lockdown in Greece and Cyprus.

About 99 percent of OPAP’s gambling revenue had been lost since it was forced to close around 4,000 outlets last month, it said on Wednesday as it estimated monthly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) will be 50-53 million euros lower if the shutdowns are extended beyond April.

“We have responded quickly to protect our employees and agents, taking a number of necessary mitigation steps,” OPAP’s chief executive Damian Cope said in a statement.

OPAP said it had sufficient liquidity to repay all creditors and meet future payment obligations after securing additional funding of 325 million euros.

In a separate statement it said that Cope will step down at the end of May when his four-year contract ends and that it has begun looking for a successor.

If none is found by that date, chief commercial officer Jan Karas will take over as acting CEO.

“I am confident that OPAP will bounce back strongly once this unfortunate period comes to an end,” Cope said.

[Reuters]