ECONOMY

Intralot wins in Italy

Intralot, the world’s third-largest lottery systems provider, won licenses to run sports and horse-betting outlets in Italy in a potentially lucrative expansion of its established market. Intralot said yesterday it had won 416 exclusive and 164 non-exclusive licenses for sports betting and nine exclusive horse-racing licenses for nine years. It will also provide sports and horse-racing betting over the Internet. Analysts said Intralot’s expansion into Italy would significantly boost group profit by 2016. «The group’s net income is forecast to rise by 20-25 percent on average in the next nine years,» Alpha Finance analyst Dimitris Giannoulis said. Intralot is also the world’s largest sports betting operator, managing bets of about -4.5 billion in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland and Malta. «The expansion into Italy could be a positive catalyst for Intralot, marking its entrance into the developed Western European gaming market,» HSBC analyst Paris Mantzavras told Reuters. Intralot said it expects to invest -65 million ($86.32 million) in the Italian market, where annual sports betting per capita is -36 compared to -210 in the developed Greek gaming market. The Italian government has offered licenses for 1,900 exclusive and 4,400 non-exclusive sports betting outlets. It also awarded licenses for 500 exclusive and 9,500 non-exclusive horse-racing points, Intralot has said. In Italy, there are currently only about 700 outlets where players can bet on sports and horse races in a market worth around -4.5 billion. Intralot, with operations in 32 countries, has launched an aggressive global expansion drive to make up for the imminent loss of its key fixed-odds sports betting game Stoichima in Greece, which will mean lower revenues. It is looking for opportunities to further expand into the United States and Latin America and enter the gaming markets of China, Korea and Vietnam. (Reuters)