Category Archives: Video Lottery Terminals

OPAP revenue jumps as pace of VLT rollout accelerates


opap-vlt-revenueGreek betting and lottery operator OPAP reported double-digit revenue gains in Q3 on strong growth in its betting and expanded video lottery terminal (VLT) divisions.

On Tuesday, OPAP reported that its revenue in the three months ending September 30 was up 12% year-on-year to €357.4m, while earnings shot up 49% to €93m and net income rose nearly two-thirds to over €48m.

It’s worth nothing that the earnings figure got a wind-assisted boost from a €14.7m reversal of litigation provisions, while Q3 2016 also suffered from €6.4m in one-off VLT arbitration-related costs. Absent those factors, earnings were up a more modest 13.6% to €78m. Similarly, adjusted net profits came in at €37.6m.

Delving deeper into the revenue numbers, OPAP’s betting revenue was up 21.4% to €112.3m in Q3, thanks in part to the ongoing deployment of its new self-service betting terminals (SSBT). The company’s virtual sports products were also credited with having a particularly strong quarter.

The mainstay lottery segment reported a modest 1.7% revenue gain to €193.9m while the Instant & Passive segment saw revenue fall 3% to just under €34.9m.

OPAP’s new VLT segment contributed nearly €16.3m, bringing the segment’s year-to-date contribution to €25.6m. OPAP had an installed VLT base of just under 5,300 at the end of Q3, up from 3,031 at the end of Q2.

OPAP says the pace of the VLT rollout has picked up in Q4 to date, with over 7k operational units as of November 15. The company expects to have around 10k VLTs in place by the end of the year.

On Tuesday, the Greek parliament approved legislation that will cap the total number of VLTs at 25k, a reduction of 10k from what OPAP was originally promised. To compensate, the new legislation frees OPAP from the requirement of subcontracting out a portion of its VLT business while also extending OPAP’s betting license by a further eight years.

Greek legislators have also promised to address two other gaming industry issues before the year is through. One bill would overhaul Greece’s land-based casino market, authorizing the relocation of the Regency Casino from its current spot on Mont Parnes while reducing casino gaming revenue taxes to something more compatible with operator profits.

The other piece of legislation would finally implement long-promised changes to online gambling regulations. The changes would include formal licensing of international operators, but questions remain as to whether the tax rates will be reduced to a level that would entice operators to submit applications.

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PlanetWin365 new #2 in Italy’s online sports betting market


italy-online-sports-betting-planetwin365The SKS365 Group’s PlanetWin365 betting brand held on to second place in Italy’s online revenue charts for the second straight month.

Figures compiled by Italian gaming news agency Agimeg.it show Italian-licensed online sports betting sites handling total wagers of €486.6m in the month of May, down roughly 10% from April’s €542m handle. The combined online and land-based betting handle totaled €860m.

As usual, Bet365’s Italian site claimed the largest slice (€150.2m) of the online betting pie, but PlanetWin365 ranked second for the second straight month with €49.1m, edging out Gala Coral’s Eurobet brand at €46.5m. Snaitech and Sisal rounded out the top five with €31.4m and €31.1m, respectively.

The online casino vertical reported revenue of €46.3m, up €1.1m from the previous month but a full one-third higher than the casino vertical reported in May 2016. Lottomatica remained top casino dog with a 10% share, followed by Sisal (7.5%), Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars brand (7.2%), Eurobet (6.9%) and William Hill (5.8%).

As for online poker, GiocoNews reported that tournament entry fees totaled €6.9m, €300k higher than in April and a 16.7% year-on-year improvement. As ever, PokerStars dominated this category, claiming 65.5% of all tournament fees. Poker cash game revenue totaled €5.4m, down €200k from April and 8.3% below May 2016’s figure.

On the land-based front, Italy’s four brick-and-mortar casinos have earned a combined €119.3m over the first five months of 2017, with nearly two-thirds (63.3%) of that sum coming via slots.

THE GREAT VLT PURGE BEGINS
Speaking of spinning reels, the Italian legislature’s lower house recently confirmed plans to reduce the nation’s complement of video lottery terminals (VLTs) by 140k machines. The cull, which is to be completed by April 1, 2018, represents about one-third of the total 407k VLTs currently whirring and buzzing in some 80k small venues across the country.

The lower house also approved plans to boost the tax on slot machine revenue by 1.5 points to 19%, while VLT taxes will rise half a point to 6%. On Thursday, Italy’s Senate gave its approval to these plans.

Meanwhile, the city of Rome has approved new restrictions on where VLTs and other electronic gaming machines (EGM) can be located. The changes, previewed last November by Rome’s major Virginia Raggi, prohibit new EGMs from being installed in any venue located within 500m of a ‘sensitive’ place, i.e. schools, churches, youth centers, etc.). Existing EGM venues will learn what fate Rome has in store for them within 120 days.

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