ECONOMY

OPAP clinches deal with sales agents

Gambling company OPAP announced that it has reached an agreement with its sales agents and will offer new products via its network, in news that helped to send the stock higher on the Athens bourse yesterday. OPAP, Europe’s largest publicly traded gambling company, said it is the first time in 50 years the company has secured a binding agreement with each of its agents. «With the signing of the agreement, OPAP can move ahead with the reforming and reconstruction of agents by going ahead with the new corporate image, a project being completed in Cyprus,» OPAP said. The agents also approved on Monday OPAP’s proposal to offer new products. Shares in the company gained 2.43 percent to 19 euros after gaining more than 5 percent in mid-session trade. Its shares have come under heavy selling pressure in the last few sessions after the government upped taxes on winnings, making games less attractive to punters. The broader market advanced 1.99 percent. Brokers said the stock was rebounding from the recent dip and was boosted by the deal, which is seen as helping to better prepare OPAP for changing conditions. «The news was positive; it will help secure OPAP’s competitiveness in a deregulated market,» said an analyst from a leading Athens brokerage. OPAP, which has a network of some 5,300 agents, has the exclusive right to offer lotteries and sports betting games in Greece until 2020.