Board members of Greek gaming operator OPAP have given initial approval to a deal that would see the company pay the government €935m to extend OPAP’s monopoly status another ten years to 2030. The deal would also allow OPAP to install 35k new videolotto machines across the nation. For you detail oriented types, Reuters claims it’s €375m for the monopoly extension, €560m for the terminals (€474m up front). OPAP will also cut the government in for 5% of all game profits between 2020 and 2030. The cash-strapped Greek government is currently under great pressure to sell its 34% stake in the gaming giant, so it has a vested interest in making OPAP an especially attractive purchase.
In other Greek gaming news, Intralot’s Peruvian subsidiary, the aptly named Intralot de Peru, has inked a deal with the Jockey Club of Peru. Intralot’s intention is to develop a new version of Polla & Pollon, an “old and beloved” pari-mutuel horse betting game Intralot could flog from its 1k+ retail points of sale across Peru.
Veikkaus, Finland’s state-owned lottery and sports betting operator, is making headlines in its home country over a war of words between the company’s CEO and members of Veikkausliga, Finland’s premier football league, of which Veikkaus is the main sponsor. Helsingin Sanomat claims the row began after FC Honka chairman Jouko Harjunpää took Veikkaus and its CEO Risto Nieminen to task for not ponying up more than €1m annually for Finnish football. Following Honka’s comments, newspaper editorials urged Veikkaus to spend less money on marketing and more on the development of youth football.
In response, Nieminen let it be known that if the ungrateful league can “find itself a new title sponsor, [Veikkaus] will step aside, jumping for joy.” Twisting the knife, Neiminen reminded the club owners that when their previous main sponsor Neste Oil stepped aside, “the league came cap in hand to Veikkaus for help.” (What’s Finnish for ‘beeyotch?’) In a bid to cool things down, Veikkausliga CEO Timo Marjama sent out a ‘recommendation’ that all club bosses refrain from criticizing their sugar daddies. Nieminen appears pacified: “We hope that the league’s value will increase. That would improve our business, as well.” But not the tension in the room, surely…