Greek Gambling OPAP Monopoly Gets a Loan to Pay Government

Written by Alex N. on 2011-11-23 at 17:14
Greek gambling laws - GamingZion
OPAP, the gambling giant operating under Greek gambling laws, is the largest betting company in Europe. As opposed to the Greek government, the gaming operator is not in debt, and it recently managed to find a loan of up to EUR 300 million with a consortium of Greek banks. The loan is aimed at expanding the company’s business Europe-wide.

The loan was required to patch up a whole in budget after OPAP spent a whopping EUR 470 million to purchase exclusive video lotto license from the Greek government. Another EUR 375 is to be paid for renewal of its monopoly status in regards to online casinos in Greece for an additional 10 years, for a total of 20 until the year 2030.

OPAP CEO, Yannis Spanoudakis, told Greece gambling news: "We have finalized with Greek banks a syndicated unsecured facility of Euro 300 million maximum; most likely it may be lower." He also revealed that the cost of the loan will be 6.75 percent over the three-month Euribor rate.

Currently foreign lenders are highly reluctant to give any money to Greek companies due to the Eurozone economic crisis. The banks leading the Greek consortium including Greece's National Bank, Emporiki Bank, EFG Eurobank and Hellenic Postbank.

Yannis Spanoudakis also shared that OPAP is still contemplating raising money in foreign financial markets in order to have higher security, albeit at a higher cost.

A worrying tendency has been observed among Greek gamers: they have been spending less following draconian austerity measures introduced by the government. As a result of this trend OPAP's Q3 profit decreased sixteen percent to EUR 135.4 million, and experts predict another tough financial year in 2012.

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