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Punitive tax and legal measures knock out OPAP

  • 04 Dec 15

The 9m 15 was marked by punitive legal measures imposed on OPAP’s legacy games while, at the same time, the Hellenic Gaming Commission introduced stricter regulations for the operation of VLTs, forcing OPAP to freeze the launch of its first machines, for economic reasons. On top of this, the betting activity in Q3 15 was hurt by capital controls this summer, contrasting with robust 9m 15 figures. Revenues slipped by 15.7% while wagers contracted by 12.9% (vs +2.7% in 9m), attributable to the deterioration in consumer spending in July, caused by the bank holiday period in July (Greece shut its banks and imposed restrictions on cash withdrawals in June), although it recovered partially in August and September. The Hellenic Lotteries (i.e. scratch cards and two passive lotteries, launched on 1 May 2014) suffered the most, showing a 38% collapse in wagers in Q3. Sports betting collapsed by 8.4% in 9m 15 with Stihima showing an abrupt interruption in the positive trend seen in past quarters, recording a 20.4% drop in amounts wagered in Q3. Measures are being intensified to rejuvenate Stihima, through the introduction of a new coupon and enriching the game’s content. Numerical games were not spared by the economic uncertainty which caused the 8.6% drop in Kino’s amounts wagered albeit recovering sharply in September. Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) dropped by 12.9% (vs +3.8% in 9m) while EBITDA fell by 7.6% (vs +14.4% in 9m). The efforts made in terms of operating cost optimisation helped to mitigate the GGR drop while the EBITDA margin in Q3 improved by 1.6% to 28.9% compared to Q3 14. Net profit fell by 8.5% to €49.1m (vs +33.7% in 9m).