Serious VLTs Losses of OPAP Could Not Be Compensated by the Gambling Company’s Record Online Gambling Revenue

OPAP, the Greek lottery and betting operator revealed that its online gambling revenue reached a record high during the second fiscal quarter. However, the operator noted that even the massive increase in the online gambling revenue was not enough to compensate for the losses during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

According to the latest report released by the OPAP on September 10th, the company’s gross gaming revenue amounted to €179,6 million in the second quarter, which ended on June 30th. The figure represents a 53.2% fall from the result generated over the same period a year ago. OPAP’s net gaming revenue suffered a 54.4% decline to €118 million, while its earnings fell by a staggering 81.7%, reaching €16.2 million.

In the three months ending June 30th, the operator reported a net loss of €15.1 million. In comparison, only a year earlier it registered a profit amounting to €34.6 million.

The coronavirus pandemic outbreak forced OPAP to shut its land-based operations in the middle of March. The shutdown included the highly-profitable video lottery terminals (VLTs) operated by the company and resulted in massive losses for OPAP, which estimated the situation saying that its overall revenue would be reduced by 99%.

The Greek gambling operator’s retail services started to resume at the beginning of June.

Coronavirus Lockdown Seriously Affected OPAP’s Retail Gambling Operations

OPAP further revealed that its major lottery unit suffered a 45% decline to €103 million. According to estimates, that decline could have been much larger if it were not for the latest online version of the company’s Tzoker product. The gambling operator further revealed that the product’s new web-based version continued to generate growth even after the end of the lockdown measures and the reopening of the retail sector. A series of jackpot roll-overs were also considered to be helpful for the satisfactory result of the product.

On the other hand, the sports betting revenue of OPAP suffered a 55% decline to €40.4 million. The fall is understandable, considering the fact that the majority of sports leagues and events were ceased or postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, live betting has been estimated to contribute about 49% of the overall betting handle, while the contribution of the self-service betting terminals powered by the British gambling software company Playtech rose by almost 5 points to 23.4% during the second quarter year-on-year.

As mentioned above, the most serious blow was suffered by the revenue generated by the video lottery terminals of the Greek gambling company, which fell by 69.3% to €21.8 million in the second three months of the year. Apart from that, the VLTs were not allowed to resume operation until the beginning of June, which additionally affected their performance.

The good thing was the in-house online revenue of the gambling operator saw a massive, more than a four-fold increase from the second quarter of 2019, hitting €10 million in Q2 2020. This result was also more than two times bigger than the amount generated during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. As revealed by OPAP, the online division of the company is expected to generate further growth even after the pandemic.