Miserable Year: Greek-Based Lottery Provider Intralot in Financial Trouble
Greek online lottery and sports betting provider Intralot has not had a good year. The latest news straight from the company itself does not bode well.
A new statement on Intralot’s website puts its projected losses for the pandemic period at €25 million ($29.7 million) or more. Other outlets have reported that $50 million or more may have already been lost this year.
Intralot’s statement says it’s already looking at “the deferral of planned investments of up to €12M.”
It is also apparently “focused on securing our liquidity utilizing different governmental support programs across jurisdictions.” This essentially amounts to loans from various governments and is not the most stable business model.
Why have Intralot’s fortunes been so dire?
The company officially blames the coronavirus pandemic, but things have not been going well for the Greek operator for other reasons, too.
Its legal US market betting operations have not pulled in the expected revenue, and the company has been plagued by complaints and lawsuits from day one.
In Washington DC, British bookmaker William Hill’s physical store way outperformed the state-backed online lottery from Intralot, despite the pandemic.
In September, William Hill took $12 million in bets at its Capital One Arena store despite not being in full operation yet, with a bigger facility set to open next year.
Meanwhile, Intralot’s GambetDC app saw only $3.1 million wagered in the same period.
The lean pickings for the newly contracted operator saw DC’s council cut its assistance budget by $6 million at the end of September.
A private individual is also suing the state over the contract it signed with Intralot, although it’s not clear how far the suit will go.
Intralot had its Bulgarian license suspended in February in other markets and lost out on a massive government contract in Turkey.
The 10-year deal to manage and supply the state-run sportsbook and iGaming site eventually went to Scientific Games, despite Intralot being the holder of the previous expired contract.
It should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the company’s workforce and business flow hard, although almost everyone has been in a similarly leaky boat on this front.
The problems may have been going on longer than that, though, with a 47% revenue decline reported for Q1 2020 compared to 2019. This was a quarter in which the pandemic would have little effect on business, although there is evidence COVID was already circulating in Europe in January.
Intralot’s company strategy and workings also weren’t helped by this past year’s management turmoil. Group CEO Christos K. Dimitriadis only took on the role in March but was replaced by founder Sokratis Kokkalis last week (November 19).
Mr. Dimitriadis lasted just eight months in the role. He will be moving on within the company, overseeing Intralot’s American expansion.
“Mr. Kokkalis thanks Mr. Dimitriadis for his contribution to date and wishes him success in his future role,” said a company statement.
However, what that future role means for long-term company member Byron Boothe, who was appointed CEO of US operations less than half a year ago, remains to be seen.
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