Greek Struggles with Regulation Model

Lee R. - September 9, 2016

Revenues are struggling, with OPAP in need of innovation in leadership.

Regulation is in place in Greece, but the bulky model is still costly.

Second quarter results for Greek betting operator OPAP reveal a net profit fall of over a third as new taxes kicked in.

Drop in Turnover

For the three months ending June 30, OPAP reported a 2% year-on-year drop in total wagering turnover to €1.02b, with net gaming revenue the albatross at a decrease of 17.7% to €125m with earnings and net profit correspondingly reduced 26.5% to €68m and 36.4% to €33m respectively.

Feeling the Pinch

The additional pinch retroactive to January 1st of this year was the Greek government’s raising of OPAP’s tax rate from 30% to 35%. OPAP projects that absent the new tax Q2 profit would have risen 2.1%.

Sports Betting Again

Sports betting carried the weight for the Greek betting operator, even in the face of only a slight increase in actual betting turnover, up a scant 1.2% to €94.2m for a gain rendered all the more modest by activity spikes for Euro 2016 football. Lottery spending was also disappointing, up only 0.2% to €207m with Instant & Passive games falling off 10.2% to €36.7m.

OPAP’s Regroup

A 24% slash line for OPAP’s quarterly marketing costs stands as a rather odd development in light of new OPAP CEO Damian Cope’s approach. 

Damian’s Coping

The ex-Ladbrokes, who just slotted in to the position on July 1st, is looking to bring “the best and most relevant elements of successful sports betting offers in other markets” to the Greek market as soon as possible, promising the emergence of “a far superior offering” over the next 12 to 18 months.

Tough Integration

This guidance updates OPAP’s official organizational stance calling for more regulatory respect for OPAP’s exclusive licenses” and coordination efforts to compete internationally. 

Cope is clearly being called upon to adapt OPAP’s operations to free market competition while raising it out to the quagmire of Greek jurisdictional constraints: quite a hurdle. Twelve to 18 months at least.



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