The government of Greece appears ready to scrap plans to privatize the national lottery operator and to proceed with online gaming legislation already declared non-compliant by the European Commission.
Casino Advisor reports that the government may attach the online gaming proposals to a must-pass financial bill. The move could force the E.C. to launch infringement proceedings that would end up in the European Court of Justice.
Just as concerning is the previously proposed sale of the government’s 34 percent controlling stake in lottery operator OPAP.
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos recently said the sale of the OPAP stake, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011, may not go through as planned, or at least not the sale of the entire 34 percent.
The move could jeopardize the efforts of the Finance Ministry as it tries to raise cash for the financially troubled country.
Venizelos said, “We have a clear target to present €1.7 billion from privatizations by the end of September and €5 billion by the end of the year.”
The OPAP stake has a market value estimated at €1.17 billion. The sale to a strategic investor is projected to raise €1.2 billion, while the sale of online gaming licenses would bring another €500 million.