OPAP, The Greek betting operators saw some tremendous increases in profits due to new launching of products and the World Cup in 2014. The company enjoyed a 41% profit increase throughout the year.
2014 was the first year following the Greek government’s sale of 1/3 its stake in OPAP. The sale was to Emma Delta and OPAP reported profits rose over €58 million during the year. With new cost controls established and a redundancy program that was voluntary, there was a 31% decrease in expenses for sponsorships and a decrease of 56.5% in grants and donations. IGT, formerly GTECH took a minority position in OPAP through their Lottomatica company before the sale to Emma Delta was finalized.
The CEO of OPAP, Kamil Zeigler says the increase is largely due to the launch of a scratch card, adding €203m in revenue. The Joker lottery also had great success with a 28.5% revenue increase. Sports betting saw an increase from the World Cup, where the revenue jumped 21%. The company has enjoyed six consecutive quarters of positive movement, with revenue from gross gaming increasing 20.5%.
OPAP is one of the largest taxpayers in all of Greece and in 2014, it contributed high proceeds to the government. In the coming quarters, OPAP has high hopes for the VLT, video lottery terminal, business. This summer, more than 16,000 terminals will be offered, which is the first part of the promised 35,000 machines to be made available.
An announcement from the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund offered a breath of fresh air as it will provide the pari-mutuel betting monopoly license, offering a 20 year license. The licensing plans were up in the air this January when Greece’s government made the suggestion to rethink the plan. Party officials assure OPAP that the concerns will not alter any done deals.