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The gambling bill could be yet another new market for slot suppliers

According to various news agencies, the Greek government has finalized plans for its gambling bill.  It will include a tender for 4 to 10, 10-year VLT licenses - permitting 30,000 VLTs.  This is a significantly larger proposal than the 50,000 total VLTs that was previously reported in the media.  Furthermore, the Greek government could tender additional smaller scale licenses for another 5k VLTs in total. The bill also includes 15-50 internet betting licenses, which will be allocated through an international tender.  Consistent with the thesis as outlined in our recent note "TIS THE SEASON", this was another favorable headline for slots.

Additional details:

  1. Qualifying bidders (OPAP is a leading candidate) must operate a company based in Greece or the EU with permanent presence in Greece and capital that exceeds €200k
  2. The minimum drop will be €0.10 and up to €5
  3. The payout for these games will be set at 80%
  4. The tax rate will be 6% of revenues

Here is a timeline of the gambling bill:

What has happened so far:

  • February 2010: To avoid EU fines, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said he will unveil a draft bill to deregulate slot machines, which can currently only be used in casinos.
  • June 2010: Greece finance ministry said in an email that it will soon release a draft law on electronic gaming and Internet betting and that it will be presented for public consultation.
  • July 2010: Skeleton draft detailing tender process was prepared.
  • August 2010: Start of public consultations on regulating gambling
  • Sept 2010: Dialogue on the gaming draft law
  • Jan 2011: Finalization of bill framework

What are the next steps (with tentative dates):

  1. Submission of bill to Parliament (Spring/Summer 2011)
  2. Passage of bill in Parliament (Late 2011)
  3. Bill sent to President Papoulias for promulgation and publication in the Government Gazette (2012)
  4. Setup of new gaming supervising committee (mid-2012)
  5. Tender process (2013)