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Italy Announces Applicants for Online Gambling Licenses

Niji Narayan

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Italian Parliament Enacts New Turnover Tax on Betting and Virtual Sports Wagers
Photo credits: Dave Kellam
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Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM), the gambling regulator of Italy, has revealed the names of 70 gambling operators who have submitted applications for a license to operate in the country or to have their existing license extended.

ADM had earlier announced last month that there were 80 applications as on the deadline day of March 19. Some of the operators have submitted separate applications for multiple licenses. The regulator has scrutinised the applications and found all of them valid.

The iGaming and betting licenses will be valid till December 31, 2022.

The application fee was €200,000, which fetched  €16 million to the ADM with this process.

Apart from the 80 new licenses to be granted, the Italian online gaming space will comprise 92 existing licenses:  45 licensees, whose licenses expired in June 2016 and were subsequently extended and 47 licensees, whose licenses are valid through the end of 2022.

Some of the operators seeking a license from the ADM include bet365, PokerStars, Luckia, Videoslots and Lottomatica. Here it is also interesting to note that some of Italy’s land-based casinos have also applied for a license for the operation of iGaming services.

Source: casinonewsdaily.com

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Melco’s Cyprus Casinos to Resume Operations in July

Niji Narayan

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Melco’s Cyprus Casinos to Resume Operations in July
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Melco Resorts’ Cyprus casinos will remain closed until at least mid-July, though some businesses on the Mediterranean island have been allowed to reopen.

The move is part of Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades’ plans for a phased reopening of the island, which first allows construction projects to resume as well as retail stores not located inside shopping malls.

Hotels, shopping malls and airports are scheduled to reopen on June 9. However, casinos will not be allowed to reopen until July 14.

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OPAP strengthens its position in online sports-betting in Greece through the acquisition of Stoiximan Group’s Greek and Cypriot business

George Miller

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OPAP strengthens its position in online sports-betting in Greece through the acquisition of Stoiximan Group’s Greek and Cypriot business
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OPAP S.A., (“OPAP”), SAZKA Group’s Greek and Cypriot subsidiary, has today announced (i) the receipt of regulatory approvals for its previously announced acquisition of 51% of Stoiximan Group’s Greek and Cypriot business (“SMGC”) and (ii) the acquisition (subject to regulatory approvals) of a further stake in SMGC as a result of which OPAP will have a total shareholding of 85% in and sole control of SMGC.

OPAP’s announcement and presentation can be found here.

Robert Chvatal, SAZKA Group CEO, commented: “Today’s announcement marks an important step forward for SAZKA Group and for OPAP, as OPAP gains a leading market position in yet another gaming vertical. OPAP, with SAZKA Group’s support, has achieved a milestone that will significantly strengthen its position in the online sports-betting market. In recent weeks, we have been working in anything but a standard business environment. And yet under these extraordinary circumstances our joint teams brought this transaction to fruition. Here my thanks must go specifically to the management team led by Mr. George Daskalakis”.

In 2019, Stoiximan Group (under the parent company TCB) generated revenues (GGR) of €245 million and EBITDA of €38 million. SMGC generated revenues (GGR) of €197 million, corresponding to 80% of Stoiximan Group’s total revenues, and EBITDA of 44 million.

 

OPAP:

OPAP is the leading gaming company in Greece. The company, founded in 1958 as the country’s national lottery operator and listed on the Athens Exchange in 2001, is the exclusive licensed operator of numerical lotteries (7 games), sports betting (4 games), Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) and horse racing in Greece. It also operates exclusively, as a controlling shareholder (83.5%) through a joint venture, the passive lotteries and instant (scratch) games in Greece. OPAP is one of the largest charitable donors in Greece, operating under World Lottery Association (WLA) and responsible gaming standards.

About SAZKA Group:

SAZKA Group is one of the largest pan-European lottery operators. Its businesses run lotteries in all the major continental European countries where lotteries are privately operated, including the Czech Republic, Greece, Austria, Italy, and Cyprus. Its businesses focus on the lottery segment, including numerical lotteries (draw-based games) and instant lotteries (scratch cards), while also providing complementary products in sports-betting and digital-only games. They sell their products both through extensive retail networks and digital platforms. All its lottery operators are members of the World Lottery Association and the European Lottery Association and operate in accordance with their codes of practice.

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Melco Suspends Operations of its Cyprus Casinos

Niji Narayan

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Melco Suspends Operations of its Cyprus Casinos
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Cyprus Casinos, the subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, has temporarily closed its five casinos in Cyprus for four weeks following a ruling by the Council of Ministers to suspend operations of certain private businesses.

The closure relates to Melco’s C2 Ayia Napa, C2 Nicosia, C2 Larnaca, C2 Paphos and C2 Limassol.

“In these challenging times that call for extreme measures, we rally behind the Government of Cyprus and the actions implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19. We fully support the decision to temporarily suspend the operation of entertainment facilities across the country in the best interest of all. We are also standing alongside our local partners and the entire tourism industry who have prioritized the safety of their personnel and guests with the utmost responsibility to safeguard their health,” Andy Choy, Melco COO International, said.

Melco said it will continue to implement stringent cleaning and disinfection protocols over the coming weeks.

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