OPAP signs systems deal with Intralot

Gambling operator OPAP has signed a three-year deal for a -96.5 million upgrade with gaming systems supplier Intralot SA, the companies said yesterday. Effective immediately, the agreement covers the upgrade of OPAP’s IT systems and telecoms equipment for the development of new generation games, the transfer of know-how and the provision of risk-management software. Intralot will also provide 29,400 terminals to OPAP, the exclusive provider of betting activity in Greece since 1996. The deal is seen as controversial by the press, which reported that OPAP in early July scrapped an international tender for a similar project before picking Intralot, a steady handler of OPAP projects for years. Critics also note that Intralot is headed by telecoms mogul Socratis Kokkalis, who owns soccer league champions Olympiakos Piraeus. OPAP last year posted an 11 percent increase in net profit to -509.8 million. In April, Britain’s William Hill applied for permission to operate a network of betting shops in Greece «on the basis of the free movement of services and freedom of establishment under EU law,» and last month filed a complaint in a Greek court when their demand was denied. The European Union in June asked Greece to provide proof that its sports betting laws are in line with its rules, but OPAP is confident that EU law favors Greece’s stance to prevent private bookmakers from setting up shop in the country. (AFP)