BUSINESS

Latvia rises; Lottomatica Q3 up; OPAP approves deal; TV anchor wins lotto on-air

TAGs: Canada, greece, Latvia, Lottery, Lottomatica Group, OPAP, William Hill

latvia-opap-lottomaticaPreliminary data from Latvia’s Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (via BalticCourse.com) of the country’s 15 gambling, gaming and lottery outfits shows a 15.4% increase in turnover in the first nine months of 2011 compared to last year. All told, gaming outfits brought in LVL 77.97m (€110.75m), while profits went up 17x, from LVL 508k to 8.62m (€12.25m). Turnover has increased each successive quarter this year. Alfor, parent of slot parlor chain Fenkiss, was the star performer, with net income up 11.7% to LVL 23.256m (€33m). The rest of the income chart reads as follows: Olympic Casino, up 20.6% to LVL14.5m; Admiralu Klubs up 16% to 7.83m; Joker up 43.2% to 7.75m, and DLV up 28.1% at 3.28m.

Shareholders in Greek betting provider OPAP have approved the €935m deal to extend the firm’s monopoly license another 10 years and secure new videolotto licenses. Shareholders also approved the €600m loan the company requires to finance the deal. (Er, beware Greeks bearing promissory notes.) The company is fattening itself up in anticipation of going on the block next year, although that was supposed to happen this year – sort of like how Greek PM Papandreo said there was going to be a referendum on the EU bailout, then said there wasn’t. Greece is in such a mess that William Hill is offering odds of 4/6 that the cash-strapped country will no longer be using the euro by the end of next year. We mention this only because if there’s something Hills knows, it’s chaos in the Mediterranean.

After Greece, Italy could be the next euro-zone country to see its economy hit the skids, but Italian gaming operator Lottomatica Group saw Q3 earnings rise 18.7% to €237m on revenues of €740.9m (+34.2%). Net income was €58.5m compared to a €13.2m loss in Q3 2010. Since the beginning of the year, the company’s net financial position has improved by €173m. So, good times, and the Group’s Italian operations are being given most of the credit. Overall, Italy was up 54.8%, contributing €458.5m to Group revenues, with the remainder coming from: GTECH Lottery €226.3m (+11.9%); SPIELO International (formerly Gaming Solutions) €45.6m (-23.7%), and GTECH G2 €20.3m (+18.7%). For the first nine months of 2011, Group revenues are up 28.4% to €2.145b.

A TV sports guy in British Columbia has won BC Children’s Hospital Dream Lottery, earning himself a country estate worth CDN $2.5m. More impressive, Barry Deley’s name was drawn live on the air to the stunned disbelief of his Global BC co-workers. After composing themselves, the teleprompter-readers called Deley and informed him of his good fortune on-air (about the 2:00 mark of the below video). Ironically, Deley is the only member of the Global BC sports department to NOT kick in for the office lottery pool. Seems he knew something was in the works… Hmm…

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