Greece Awards Horse Race Betting License to OPAP


Greece's privatization agency has named betting firm OPAP as the winner of the sole Greek horse race betting license. This comes after the agency scrapped a previous tender last month due to insufficient interest.

The sale is part of a privatization plan agreed upon with international lenders, including the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, under a €240 billion bailout package.

Greece's OPAP, one of Europe's largest betting firms by revenue, and gaming systems supplier Intralot had submitted bids for the 20-year license.

OPAP submitted the highest offer at €40.5 million and was named the "successful bidder," Greece's privatization agency, HRADF, announced on Tuesday.

Greece has repeatedly missed privatization targets due to low investor appetite and regulatory obstacles. The country aims to raise €22 billion by 2020, with €1.5 billion targeted from state divestments this year, down from an initial target of €3.6 billion.

OPAP, privatized last year, holds a monopoly in lotteries and sports betting in Greece through approximately 5,000 outlets.

The HRADF scrapped the initial horse race betting tender last month after receiving just one offer from Intralot, which was deemed unsatisfactory.

Horse race betting is currently operated by ODIE, a group that reported a net loss of €23.4 million in 2012.

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