OPAP was founded in 1958 as the Greek national lottery and it is the exclusive licensed operator of all numerical lotteries, sports betting and horse racing. OPAP listed in 2001 and was fully privatised in 2013. Sazka Group has a 41.7% stake and significant board representation.
OPAP’s Q320 results showed a strong sequential improvement in revenue from Q220 as trading returned towards normality, which led to an improvement in profitability and free cash flow generation. Further regional lockdowns and a second full national lockdown from November lead us to downgrade revenue forecasts for FY20 by c 15%. Most significantly, the new licence for Lotteries and Sports Betting from FY20–30 with reduced taxes on revenue, agreed in FY11, became effective in October 2020 with no reaction from the Greek government, leading to significant upgrades to our forecasts for EBITDA, free cash flow and distributions to shareholders in FY21. The resulting prospective dividend yield of 10.1% looks very attractive.
The Hellenic Gaming Commission estimates that the total legal Greek gaming market amounted to €2.2bn GGR in 2019, of which OPAP games comprised €1.36bn GGR. OPAP’s other activities (lottery games and horse racing betting) took its total Greek GGR to €1.54bn. Revenue from land-based casinos comprised an estimated €247m and total legal online amounted to €437m for the overall market. Regulation of the online gaming market is currently underway.