OPAP Plans to Extend Betting Licence to Offset Video Lottery Machine Cuts

Greek betting agency OPAP, said the adverse impact from a draft government bill limiting the number of video lottery machines allowed to operate in the country, will be offset by a plan to extend its betting licence.

“The revised terms will have a neutral effect for OPAP,” said Chief Executive Officer Damian Cope, in a conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

Under its current contract with the government, Europe’s fifth largest betting firm would operate 16,000 machines and subcontract another 18,000, expanding into a new business; which is seen as a key growth driver for the firm.

The Greek government tabled a draft bill in August, reducing the number of machines to be deployed to 25,000 from 35,000 by the end of 2019, aiming for a smaller exposure to gambling, and a more effective supervision by authorities.

The bill also extends OPAP‘s licence by eight years, and says the firm will not have to subcontract any of the machines.