OPAP threat­ens le­gal ac­tion on video lotto

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece’s big­gest bet­ting firm OPAP said yesterday it could take le­gal ac­tion if the coun­try does not move quickly to re­view the rules for the launch of its video lottery busi­ness. OPAP, one of Europe’s big­gest gam­bling firms, had planned to start op­er­at­ing the first of its 16,500 video lottery ma­chines at the end of June but put the pro­ject on hold af­ter Greece un­ex­pect­edly im­posed tougher rules on June 12. “With the cur­rent reg­u­la­tion, the pro­ject is not doable,” Kamil Ziegler, OPAP’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, told an an­a­lysts con­fer­ence call. Ziegler said that OPAP was com­mit­ted to the in­vest­ment but was also work­ing on an al­ter­na­tive plan. “We are in a sit­u­a­tion that we can­not just think about the Plan A... but we are se­ri­ously think­ing and pre­par­ing our­selves for the Plan B,” he said, adding that this would be lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional lit­i­ga­tion. The new rules are de- signed to pro­tect con­sumers who could risk los­ing large sums or be­com­ing ad­dicted. They call for lower jack­pot lev­els, daily loss lim­its and curbs on the length of play time al­lowed. It was not clear how much the de­lay would cost the Greek state, which would re­ceive sig­nif­i­cant rev­enues from the new busi­ness. In a June pro­posal that Greece made to cred­i­tors, the gov­ern­ment es­ti­mated it could reap some 35 mil­lion eu­ros in 2015 and some 225 mil­lion in 2016 in rev­enues from video lottery ter­mi­nals.

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