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Economics of Gambling in Greece – Lottery

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Greece has casinos, two national lotteries, and several types of gambling on football results as well as horse betting and 14,000 card-playing clubs. The major components of the Greek gambling market are betting, casinos and lotteries. Until relatively recently, much of the Greek gaming industry has been under government ownership. (Source: GBGC, p.328)

Greek law prohibits gaming machines outside of casinos and all forms of Internet or other interactive betting and gaming.

Greek Betting and Gaming Gross Turnover (1999-2003)

Greece-Economis-1

Source: Adapted from GBGC Report

Gambling Market Share in Greece 2000 – 2004 (in %)

  • Year >>> 2000 >>> 2001 >>> 2002 >>> 2003 >>> 2004
  • Horceracing >>> 10.4 >>> 12.3 >>> 9.3 >>> 7.6 >>> 5.6
  • Casinos >>> 44.5 >>> 48.5 >>> 40.3 >>> 33.1 >>> 35.3
  • OPAP (lotteries and betting) >>> 26.4 >>> 22 >>> 37.9 >>> 49 >>> 52.6
  • Other Lotteries >>> 18.7 >>> 17.3 >>> 12.6 >>> 10.2 >>> 6.5

Greek Gambling Market 2004:

Greece-Economis-2

Source: Centre for the Study of gambling, Salford, own analysis.

GAMING SECTOR ANALYSIS

Lotteries

There are two major lotteries licensed to operate in Greece: the Greek State Lottery that was founded in 1862, the Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP) that dates back to 1959. The third lottery previously was Instant Lottery, however, the license for the operation of Instant Lottery expired in 2003 and since then there are not instant tickets in the Greek market. The number of OPAP agencies through which the instant lottery tickets were also distributed in 2003 was approximately 5.200.

The Greek State Lottery provides a traditional lottery, with the Greek Treasury being the beneficiary. OPAP, the Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics, offers a number of games including Lotto 6/49 and a sport Toto, with football benefiting from their sales. During 2003 Greece had the sixth largest lottery market in Europe at €2.7 billion and had average sales per capita of €302, the fourth largest level among the 25 Member States of the EU. However, as OPAP reported, OPAP had a total of €2.28 billion in sales in 2003 and therefore €2.7 billion could be a very conservative estimation for the sales of total lottery market in Greece in 2003. OPAP had sales €1.96 billion in 2002.

The OPAP provides fixed-odds sports and non-sports betting services and lottery operations and operates on a 20 year license granted in 2000, for which they paid €323 million. This license gives OPAP the right to operate six numerical and three sports-betting games under the current operation as well as two additional numerical lottery games. It also grants the company the exclusive right to operate fixed odds betting and any new sports games.

OPAP’s Earnings Before Tax, Interest and Depreciation 2002 – 2003 (in € million):

  • Year >>> 2002 >>> 2003 >>> 2004 >>>
  • Earnings before tax >>> 406 >>> 474 >>> 659

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from OPAP

OPAP’s Statistics 2000 – 2004 (in thousands €):

  • GAME >>> SALES 2000 >>> WINNINGS 2000 >>> GGR 2000 >>> SALES 2001 >>> WINNINGS 2001 >>> GGR 2001
  • PROPO >>> 91,389 >>> 38,371 >>> 53,018 >>> 63,841 >>> 27,393 >>> 36,448
  • LOTTO >>> 83,283 >>> 31,516 >>> 51,767 >>> 75,981 >>> 30,089 >>> 45,892
  • PROTO >>> 44,303 >>> 22,204 >>> 22,099 >>> 52,286 >>> 27,607 >>> 24,679
  • PROPOG OAL >>> 4,012 >>> 1,558 >>> 2,454 >>> 2,257 >>> 895 >>> 1,362
  • JOKER >>> 227,933 >>> 111,686 >>> 116,247 >>> 291,221 >>> 145,611 >>> 145,610
  • STIHIMA >>> 997,808 >>> 655,868 >>> 341,940 >>> 1,313,797 >>> 805,139 >>> 508,658
  • SUPER 3
  • EXTRA 5
  • ΚΙΝΟ
  • TOTAL >>> 1,448,728 >>> 861,203 >>> 587,525 >>> 1,799,383 >>> 1,036,734 >>> 762,649

 

  • GAME >>> SALES 2002 >>> WINNINGS 2002 >>> GGR 2002
  • PROPO >>> 66,352 >>> 28,149 >>> 38,203
  • LOTTO >>> 80,416 >>> 31,845 >>> 48,571
  • PROTO >>> 52,953 >>> 27,959 >>> 24,994
  • PROPOGOAL >>> 2,206 >>> 874 >>> 1,332
  • JOKER >>> 220,636 >>> 110,318 >>> 110,318
  • STIHIMA >>> 1,511,409 >>> 904,460 >>> 606,949
  • SUPER 3 >>> 20,272 >>> 10,688 >>> 9,584
  • EXTRA 5 >>> 13,447 >>> 8,820 >>> 4,627
  • ΚΙΝΟ
  • TOTAL 1,967,691 1,123,113 844,578

 

  • Game >>> Sales 2003 >>> Winnings 2003 >>> GGR 2003 >>> Sales 2004 >>> Winnings 2004 >>> GGR 2004
  • PROPO >>> 80,420 >>> 33,018 >>> 47,402 >>> 79,401 >>> 32,603 >>> 46,798
  • LOTTO >>> 66,431 >>> 26,328 >>> 40,103 >>> 61,339 >>> 24,290 >>> 37,049
  • PROTO >>> 47,861 >>> 25,284 >>> 22,577 >>> 50,035 >>> 26,418 >>> 23,617
  • PROPO GOAL >>> 2,481 >>> 982 >>> 1,499 >>> 1,708 >>> 676 >>> 1,032
  • JOKER >>> 213,629 >>> 106,781 >>> 106,848 >>> 270,665 >>> 135,332 >>> 135,333
  • STIHIMA >>> 1,651,748 >>> 1,034,256 >>> 617,492 >>> 1,612,894 >>> 1,035,457 >>> 577,437
  • EXTRA 5 >>> 52,883 >>> 27,504 >>> 25,379 >>> 34,115 >>> 18,604 >>> 15,511
  • SUPER 3 >>> 150,864 >>> 91,285 >>> 59,579 >>> 122,939 >>> 72,669 >>> 50,270
  • ΚΙΝΟ >>> 10,848 >>> 7,601 >>> 3,247 >>> 944,113 >>> 654,658 >>> 289,455
  • TOTAL >>> 2,277,165 >>> 1,353,039 >>> 924,126 >>> 3,177,209 >>> 2,000,707 >>> 1,176,502

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from OPAP

There is no VAT or gambling specific taxes levied on the services OPAP provide to players, over and above normal business taxes. There are no recurring costs for licensing. OPAP contributes large amounts of money for good causes in donations to sports, cultural and social bodies. Greek State Lotteries also contribute a large part of their income to public benefit purposes.

The amounts donated by OPAP from 2001 to 2004, include donations and sponsorships. The donations amount of € 3,639,782 was contributed purely to charities.

OPAP’s Donations 2001 – 2004 (in € million):

  • Year >>> 2001 >>> 2002 >>> 2003 >>> 2004
  • Amount Donated >>> 8.729 >>> 10.324 >>> 19.500 >>> 24.399

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from OPAP

The number of OPAP’s outlets was 5,125 in 2005. The OPAP S.A. employs 295 permanent staff and 375 part time employees. The amount contributed to charities, sporting and other good causes in 2004 was €3.64 million.

© European Union

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