Christos Hadjiemmanouil, Chief Executive Officer for OPAP, revealed that his firm is to partner with Turkish business groups Dogus, which owns Garanti Bank, FIBA and contractor Alarco is submitting a tender.
“We want this project, we want to get into the largest market in southeast Europe, we have the ability to take over (Milli Piyango) but we are not 'rabid' to do it at any cost,” said Hadjiemmanouil.
OPAP is Europe's biggest betting firm and it is hoping to offset any losses it might experience when its monopoly rights in Greece expire in 2020 by expanding. Hadjiemmanouil revealed that the authorities in Turkey reacted positively to the idea of the Greek gaming group possibly taking over the lottery.
“The climate we met was positive,” said Hadjiemmanouil.
“There was a friendly mood and open doors.”
According to daily newspaper Kathimerini, OPAP could submit its tender as early as next month with the Reuters news agency reporting that other interested parties include Lottomatica subsidiary GTech, Greece's Intralot, Turkey's Koc Group, Austrian Lotteries and US firms Scientific Games and Camelot.
“We chose excellent partners both from a business and financial adequacy perspective,” said Hadjiemmanouil.
“Their participation by 50 percent will have a political and psychological weight.”