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Greek Lottery Licence Up For Grabs

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According to Greece’s Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, three parties
have expressed an interest in applying for and being granted the sole 12-year
Greek lottery licence
to operate all the lotteries in the nation.

Established to oversee the country’s privatisation programme, the Hellenic
Republic Asset Development Fund is responsible for selecting a private entity to
manage the formerly government-controlled lotteries, which comprise the National
Lottery, European Lottery, the New Year’s Lottery, the Popular Lottery, the
Instant Win Lottery and the Housing State Lottery.

Said Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund spokesperson, Costas Mitropoulos,
‘Despite extremely uncertain economic conditions, results from the first stage
of the state lottery tender are very encouraging.’

The first of the interested parties is a consortium headed by OPAP SA, the
current operator of the Greek lotteries, which comprises global lottery
‘heavyweights’ Intralot, Scientific Games and Lottomatica, who between them
power many of the world’s most successful lotteries.

The second interested party is an Italian-Greek group led by Italian gaming and
betting management firm Sisal SpA, while the third is Austrian Lotteries GmbH.

The Greek Lottery License will Cost €500 Million

Whichever of these organisations is granted the Greek lotteries license, will be
required to pay a €500 million fee to the Greek government. However, considering
that in 2010 alone the country’s lotteries generated just under €350 million in
total turnover, it seems a relatively small price to pay in the short term.

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund kicked off its search for a new
lottery operator last month as an austerity measure designed to help reduce
Greece’s enormous debt, which is in excess of 160 per cent of the country’s GDP.

However, the road to privatization for Greece is proving to be an extremely
long and slow one, considering that of the government’s €5 billion target it
aims to raise through privatisation, so far only €1.7 billion has been achieved.

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