Greece’s iGaming and lottery operator saw a dip in its revenue in Q3, despite having received a significant boost from betting activities related to the World Cup. Still, the largest football derby on the planet didn’t seem enough to prop up the operator’s results, which posted diminishing profits.
OPAP’s Falling Results
On Tuesday, Greece’s lottery and iGaming operator OPAP posted its Q3, 2018 results, with revenue standing at €369 million as of September 30. This consisted a 3.2% year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, gross profit from the gaming segment also went up by 5.2%, reaching €146 million. All of this signalled a rather strong quarter for the company, but news that earnings had slipped also emerged.
According to the report, earnings went down 6.1% and stood at €87.2 million. Net profit alone took a 10%-plunge, poising itself at €39 million. The numbers were particularly feeble in light of the recently concluded World Cup competition, which was supposed to act as a catalyst, bringing more bettors to OPAP’s shop windows.
However, most of the gamers seemed to have remained unphased by the general excitement surrounding the competition or had opted for another operator altogether.
OPAP’s results are not quite satisfactory, as the company undertook a number of measures targeting diversification and boosting its existing operations. More specifically, the company introduced the video lottery terminals (VLT) in a bid to modernize the experience and meet customers’ specific preferences.
To top this off, the company also launched the self-service betting terminals (SSBT), hoping that customers will be relieved to manage their money on their own. The investment has been quite substantial too, with 16,043 VLT units hitting the market by September 30.
SSBT’s growth has been rather modest, with the total number of terminals standing at 4,016. While the measures may have seemed inefficient, VLTs raked in €50.8 million in Q3, which was another year-on-year boost.
OPAP is cognizant of the potential o VTLs and the company will install as many as 25,000 which is aligned with an agreement that has been struck with Greece’s government.
The World Cup Hasn’t Lived Up to Expectations
Reporting on the tepid sports betting results, OPAP defied FIFA executive Gianni Infantino’s statement that this has been (one of) the best World Cup to ever be held in the world, with the operator pointing out to ill-balanced matches and finals that didn’t really turned out to be as exciting as everyone had hoped for.
Meanwhile, OPAP continues to push ahead with its plans to diversify its business and acquire new assets. Just before Q3 concluded, the operator said that it had bought stake worth €50 in TCB Holdings. This should allow OPAP to be in contact with multiple gaming markets, including Greece, Cyprus, Germany, and Romania.
One important segment of future development is iGaming. Greece hasn’t got the most acclimatised online gambling market, but OPAP is hoping to break into, bringing more customers online. Gaming done online remains one of the most profitable options and it saves operators multiple costs, although it could come with heftier taxes.
Earlier in 2018, it was suggested that OPAP is also in hot water with the Greece state, to which the company owed as much as €50 million, with the sum possible reaching more than that.