Eight in the running for OPAP; Bet-at-home revenue jump; Folkspel and NYX renew vows

european union flagEight different companies are interested in acquiring a stake in the Greek gambling monopoly OPAP. Playtech and Intralot were among the firms to meet the November 9 deadline set by the country’s privatization agency, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), with firms juking it out for a 33 percent stake. Other companies expressing an interest include Chinese business group Fosun International, BC Partners, TPG Capital, Gauselmann (in partnership with Playtech), Third Point, Triple Five World Group Properties, and a group advised by Czech investor Jiri Smejc and Greek shipping tycoon George Melisanidis. Next up the HRADF will ask advisers to examine each application and then to make a recommendation as to which candidates meet the criteria for the next stage. HRADF’s CEO Yannis Emiris added: “We are satisfied by the response of the investment community, which has demonstrated its trust in the prospects of the country, despite the difficult economic situation. The number and entity of the submissions received is also a proof of investors’ confidence in our tendering procedures.” The stake could generate as much as €1.5billion for the country’s economy and the HRADF will hope to wrap up a deal by early next year.

Bet-at-home posted an impressive rise in gross gaming revenue as the BetClic Everest subsidiary returned to profit in the third quarter of 2012. An 11.3 percent rise in GGR saw the figure reach €20.12million with betting and gaming turnover up 8.7 percent to €460.16m. This all contributed to net gaming revenue rising by 3 percent to €16.88m and that’s despite a punitive tax regime being introduced in Germany, one of their core markets. The results came as a small surprise to bet-at-home as they decreased their marketing spend by just over 4 percent and were the first set since co-founder Jochen Dickinger decided to leave the firm.

Swedish gaming operator Folkspel has renewed a licensing agreement with NYX Interactive. It means that NYX will continue to provide its Rapid Platform, Bingo, Keno and Scratch card products for an unspecified number of years and all will be available via the Bonnier Lottery operated site at BingoLotto.se. The deal strengthens and agreement that has seen the two work together since 2006.