The Greek government launched an international tender for the sale of the state’s 33-percent stake in the gaming monopoly OPAP.
The authority released a press statement for Greek gambling news agencies, saying: “The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund announces the launch of an international public tender process for the sale of its 33 percent shareholding in the Hellenic Football Prognostics Organisation (OPAP).”
OPAP chief executive and HRADF official Yiannis Emiris said in a statement: “The complete privatization of OPAP will be carried out transparently, rapidly, and with efficiency.”
The tender is to run until October 19. The government had earlier planned to sell only 29 percent of its stake in the company.
Emiris added “Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund is accelerating the pace of implementation of a comprehensive plan to restart the Greek economy. The program aims to attract new capital investment, create new jobs and open up Greek markets to competition. The complete privatization of OPAP will be carried out transparently, rapidly and with efficiency in order to achieve that aim.”
OPAP is by far Greece’s most profitable state company. The firm controls the market for companies that bet on sports in Greece, and reported a net profit of EUR 126.1 million alone in the first six months of this year.
OPAP has a state concession guaranteed by Greek gambling laws to operate 13 different games of chance until October 2030. The company also possesses a ten-year license for the operation of 35,000 video lottery terminals in the country. Recently, an EC report concluded that this monopoly is against European law, and the government made promises to liberalize the market in concourse with the privatization.
Earlier this month, the Greek government announced the levy of a 30-percent tax on gaming profits. OPAP shares started to soar after the news. You can read more in the article: Greek OPAP’s Shares Fall After Government Announces Gambling Tax.