Greece’s Opap, Lottomatica Unit to Enter Online Gambling Market

Opap SA (OPAP) of Greece, Europe’s biggest listed gambling company, chose Italy’s Lottomatica SpA (LTO) G2 unit as its strategic partner to enter the online gaming market.

The two will create a joint venture to offer Internet gaming services and will bid for any licenses offered by the Greek state in the future, according to an e-mailed statement from Athens-based Opap today.

Opap, of which the state owns 34 percent, last year extended its monopoly on sports betting in Greece to 2030 and paid the state 560 million euros ($677 million) to acquire the license to operate 35,000 video lottery terminals. Selling a stake in the company and licenses to operate lottery games are part of Greece’s plan to cut debt by selling state assets.

Separately, Opap said it will examine an offer by Intralot SA (INLOT) to run its terminal-based technological support. Intralot, which has been Opap’s provider for the last 12 years, and Gtech Holdings SA are the two companies that submitted bids.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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