Online Gambling Helps OPAP Roll With Pandemic Punches

OPAP, a Greek betting and lottery operator was able to get into profitable terrain in Q3 of this year. Even though its retail operations have suffered a setback as they had to close shop because of the precautions taken to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

According to figures released on Wednesday, OPAP earned revenue of €391 million in the 3 months ending on the 30th of September. This is a 0.7 percent fall from when compared to the same period in 2019. However, this sum is triple the sum of the second quarter in 2020.

The cost controls before the pandemic allowed revenue to rise to about 1.5 percent to €105 million as net profits increased to about 8.3 percent to €52.8 million.

The third quarter of OPAP gained massively from the short reopening that occurred in June. This was after COVID lead to a closure of all its betting, lottery, and VLT (video lottery terminal) networks in March.

However, numeric lotteries continued a negative trend in the third quarter because of the restrictions on retail capacity.

The revenue fell 9.3 percent to €179 million, as the Instant & Passives section dropped to 14.1 percent to €27.1 million.

As for betting, there was no slump of any kind as it rose 14 percent to €104.6 million because the top leagues got back to playing after the suspension caused by the pandemic. Live betting increased 45 percent of the total in the third quarter with 35.5 percent of live bets coming through the self-service betting terminals powered by Playtech.

The revenue of VLT increased by 10 percent year-on-year to €80.1 million, which was the sector’s top performer this year.

However, the average active monthly players haven’t retained the 131,000 level set in the first quarter but it posted a fair rise from the second quarter.

The retail operations of OPAP in North Greece had to close shop again on the 16th of October and the other parts of the nation followed suit on the 7th of November. Although an uncertain reopening date has been set for the 30th of November.

In Cyprus, shops belonging to OPAP in Pafos and Limassol which represents about 40 percent of the company’s Cypriot business had to close shop on the 12th of November and same 30th of November is the expected relaunch date.

In-house online gambling sector of OPAP is still a revenue minnow as it’s pegged at €10.6 million but this was three times its third-quarter contribution of 2019.

The sum was just €600,000 higher than the second quarter, as the company blamed it on lack of jackpots in its product for Tzoker lottery.

Also, online activity fell after the restart but right now it is enjoying an increase even though we’re still battling the second wave of COVID-19. The unveiling of an online casino product also didn’t cause any problems.


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