Greece Sells Racing Rights

Greece’s formerly state-run horse betting industry has changed hands. The country is selling off assets in an effort to keep afloat financially. The new leftist government has sealed a deal to sell the exclusive betting rights for OPAP for €40 million.

Greece is selling its sole license for horse race betting, according to Reuters. It is the first sales of a state asset by the new leftist-led coalition government, which is trying to right the country’s ship of state. On April 24 the Hellenic Asset Privatization Development Fund was set to formalize a deal selling the license to Athens-based Greek Organization of Football Prognostics.

OPAP bought the exclusive betting rights in 2014, paying €40 million (US$43.26 million). Betting on horse racing in Greece was previously run by a state-owned group.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters that the country may be forced to divest of other state assets as it struggles with a devastated economy. That may include the sale of a 67 percent stake in its biggest port, Piraeus, and the lease of a bundle of 14 regional airports to a joint venture led by German airport operator Fraport.