OPAP completes rollout of 25,000 VLTs in Greece

15 January 2020

Greek gaming operator OPAP completed the introduction of 25,000 video lottery terminal (VLT) machines in its home country in December 2019.

The rollout of machines supplied by Inspired and the Synot Group took just under three years, beginning on 11 January, 2017 after the European Union in 2015 approved the Greek government’s decision to award OPAP a VLT monopoly.

VLTs were a significant source of revenue for OPAP in the first half of 2019,  with revenue rising 56.5% year-on-year from €89.4m to €139.9m. As a result, this boosted its share of group revenue from 12.1% to 17.9%, with OPAP operating 20,035 machines across 365 gaming halls and 1,952 of its stores.

OPAP’s original exclusive deal was to introduce 35,000 VLTs, but the Greek parliament later passed an act to reduce this to 25,000.

In September, the Greek Council of State, Greece's supreme administrative court, revoked OPAP’s online sports betting license after Austrian operator Goalbet argued that OPAP had never been asked to meet the conditions necessary for the license.

OPAP said it would appeal the decision and is “evaluating how to pursue the protection of its interests by all legal means," although it also noted that online sports betting make sup less than 1% of its revenue.

In October 2019, the Greek parliament passed a series of online gambling reforms. The reforms include a €3m licence fee and a 35% gross revenue tax for licensees as well as a €2 maximum stake for random number generator (RNG) games such as online slots.

Earlier this month, the Greek Ministry of Finance submitted the regulations to the European Commission for approval.