In defense position due to coronavirus gambling


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13 and 2002
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In defense position due to coronavirus gambling

By Nikos Chrysikopoulos

Greece's gambling industry, a 2,2 billion-euro gross revenue market (GGR, figures 2019), which generated 980 million euros in public funds last year, is temporarily defended. euro.

Measures to reduce the coronavirus pandemic have led, as in many other activities, to businesses in line with the national effort to limit the pandemic and to suspend the operation of all terrestrial gaming sites (casinos, agencies, gaming). halls, Hippodrome etc.).

At the same time, stopping major events in Europe and elsewhere, such as national football and basketball leagues, the UEFA Champions and Europa League, Euroleague and more. has also had a significant impact on online gambling revenue.

As a result, online providers are currently restricted to activities such as online casinos, poker etc., while at the level of sporting events online betting is occasionally played in regional soccer leagues, ice hockey, table tennis, etc. that is, essentially in non-commercial betting events. Similarly, for the largest domestic market group, the OPAP, now available on the Internet are "Let's Bet" and "Joker" and some horse racing and racing in the US and Australia for "".

The financial impact on businesses and professionals is expected to emerge in the coming quarters, but will vary according to activity. Some casinos, for example already burdened by losses due to shutdown due to coronavirus, have long seen their turnover decline due to the impact of the anti-smoking law. As wrote, the last two months of 2019 and the first of 2020 saw an average 20% revenue decline, a trend that continued in March until COVID-19 was suspended. It remains to be seen what moves casino businesses will be able to face in the great challenge of 2020, as some casinos do not have much to hope for in the tourism industry, given the poor forecasts already recorded for this year's arrivals.

Similarly, online providers are also moving ahead with the non-event of Euro 2020 - a top 4-year betting event - postponed to 2021. The date for the re-launch of national football championships, basketball games, etc. is expected to be completed. the Champions and Europa League, Euroleague, to re-launch a commercial betting product and increase the volume of transactions. No one can predict this at this stage, but as soon as sporting regularity returns, they will gain more visibility for the rest of the year.

Regarding the largest Greek market group, OPAP, Eurobank Equities, says that according to its baseline scenario (closed stores by the end of April), the impact on estimated 2020 EBITDA will reach 27%.

However, the OPAP It has a strong balance sheet, high cash holdings, has completed the core of its investments, is favored by corporate tax cuts and has the flexibility to cut costs and expenses to reduce any impact. That's why (along with the generous, as she calls it, dividend policy) and Optima in a similar report states that OPAP continues to be an attractive investment choice.

The next day

In this context, the next day after the return, of course, of normality is expected with more than interest. Much of the gambling market will depend on the overall impact of the pandemic crisis on GDP and, above all, on the timing and magnitude of the economy's reaction, as the industry is an important "blood donor" of public funds, while employing thousands of jobs.

According to the data released by the Games Committee, in 2019 the Greek gambling market grew by 14,70% to total turnover (betting), reaching EUR 15,96 billion, and by 5,25% to GGR level (gross profit after deducting player profits), reaching EUR 2,22 billion. Online gambling accounts for 53,31% of total betting, while land based gambling accounts for 46,69%. Inversely similar is the picture of the share of the above two categories in GGR, since remote gambling has a share of 19,63%, while land based 80,37%.

In defense position due to coronavirus gambling

As wrote, gross casino business revenue in 2019 was € 246 million, while gross revenue of online providers reached € 437 million last year. Revenue from online gambling increased 19,8% last year to a total stake of 10,91% on GGR compared to 2018. At the same time, it is a steadily increasing source of tax revenue. With the organization of the market and the effective supervision exercised by the EEEP, under the chairmanship of Commission V. Karagrigoriou, in recent years, tax revenues from the gambling industry have increased from € 587 million to around € 980 million. I found last year.

It remains to be seen what performance will be for 2020. Based on budget forecasts, Mr Staikouras expected revenue of € 1,1 billion in 2020, most of which would come from tax on gross profit. gambling, as well as tax on lottery winnings and gambling. However, licensing for online gambling is expected to be a "pillow", a process that will begin in the coming months and for which there is already significant mobility.

By Nikos Chrysikopoulos


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