ATHENS Dec 12 Greek sports betting monopoly
OPAP will take over the state lotteries in a 190
million euro ($247 million) deal, the cash-strapped government's
second privatisation this year.
OPAP, together with gaming technology partners Intralot
, Lottomatica and Scientific Games,
was the sole bidder for a 12-year licence to run lotteries which
generated about 60 million euros profit last year.
Greece's privatisation revenues, a key part of the country's
EU/IMF bailout, have been far below original targets, with just
1.7 billon euros raised so far.
The latest agreement came after an 81 million euro deal in
September, when the government picked real estate firm Lamda to
manage a shopping mall that served as a broadcasting centre
during the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Ioannis Emiris, head of the privatisations agency, said on
Wednesday the OPAP deal was "most satisfactory", adding it
guaranteed "the significant increase of state revenues and the
creation of new jobs".
Greece is scrambling to jump start its privatisation agenda
to convince lenders it is serious about selling off state assets
to pay down public debt.
Last month it lowered its privatisation target to about 11
billion euros by 2016, compared with an original target of 19
billion by the end of 2015.
($1 = 0.7693 euro)
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Dan Lalor)