ECONOMY

After break with Intralot, OPAP plans to increase Stoichima payout

Europe’s biggest gaming firm OPAP has redesigned its flagship sports bet Stoichima and plans to raise its payout to winners to make it more attractive, its chief executive said yesterday. «Right now, we are sticking to the target of 66 percent (payout to winners). We plan to increase it very conservatively and very slowly, depending on the sales of the game,» CEO Vassilis Neiadas told Reuters in a phone interview. OPAP took over the risk management of Stoichima yesterday as part of its plans to cut costs. Last year the group reached a 65-million-euro deal with former Stoichima operator Intralot for a smooth transition over six months. «As of today and until Thursday, we redesigned the Stoichima coupon to offer betting on one single event and double-betting on 18 out of 68 foreign matches,» Neiadas said. «We believe that the coupon is now more attractive for players than Intralot’s coupon had been in the last three months of 2006,» he said. Neiadas also said OPAP had met its revenue targets for 2006. »Our target for 2006 sales of more than 4 billion euros has been achieved,» Neiadas said. In the first nine months of 2006, OPAP reported revenues of -3.37 billion. Shares in OPAP, which has a market value of 9.4 billion euros, trade at about 18 times forecast 2007 earnings, compared with a multiple of around 20 for British bookmaker Ladbrokes, according to Reuters Estimates. (Reuters)