On the heels of a nearly 8% dip in earnings for the third quarter and a new tax the company expects to lower revenues even more, Greek gambling monopoly OPAP will sue the government there for imposing new restrictions on its video lottery terminal (slots) business.
OPAP had earlier this year planned to roll out the first phase of a 16,500 machine launch but throttled the endeavor due to a surprise announcement from the government that restrictions would be set including the amount of time players could spend at the machines, loss limits, and smaller jackpots.
The company, partially owned by industry giant IGT (through their merger\acquisition by GTECH) filed papers last week in the London Court of International Arbitration seeking damages in excess of €1 billion. The company said that they felt the governments “abrupt and counterproductive interventions” in their business had left them no choice but to “pursue multiple appropriate legal actions.”
In response to the new five euro-cent tax on gambling set to take effect on January 1st, OPAP plans to shut down all 4,500 of their betting outlets for 24 hours to protest the levy.