Smooth VLT upgrade sees OPAP confident of delivering on all 2019 targets

first_img StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Submit Share Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 Retail closures have ‘severe’ impact on Playtech August 5, 2020 Athens-listed gambling group OPAP SA is confident it will deliver on its full-year corporate expectations after recording a strong Q3 2019 performance including growth across all core metrics.Continuing to reap the benefits of its VLT and systems upgrade, OPAP maintains year-to-date revenues of €1.173 billion – up 6% on year-to-date (YTD) 2018 comparatives of €1.106 billion.Publishing its latest corporate update, OPAP details that Q3 2019 trading saw the company deploy 21,000 new VLTs, hosted by 369 Play Gaming Halls and 2,022 betting agencies.“Our results in Q3 provide further evidence of the positive growth that is being delivered by the OPAP team thanks to the investments made, and hard work put in, over the last few years,” said OPAP Group Chief Executive Damian Cope. “With both revenues and profitability once again showing good growth over 2018, I believe that OPAP continues to demonstrate the sustained benefits of the company’s ongoing transformation.”Detailing a significant increase in VLT contributions (up 52%), combined with a solid lottery performance (up 2%), OPAP YTD gross profits currently track at €463 million – up 7% on YTD 2018’s €433 million.Highlighting a series of operational efficiencies, OPAP has been able to maintain its growth momentum whilst group expenditure is contained to €200 million – a 6% decrease on 2018’s €212 million.Closing a successful Q3 2019 trading period, OPAP governance reports YTD group profits of €140 million, up 33% on 2018’s €105 million.“In Q3 we saw similar trends to the first half of 2019 with solid Lottery figures and a strong VLT performance, together with the ongoing improvement of our sports betting offer,” added Cope. “In terms of customer engagement, we continue to steadily grow the number of monthly actives across Online, VLTs and our new Tora services.“We are now within a few weeks of 2020, the year that will represent the culmination of our original ‘2020 Vision’ ambition. Until then we will be focused on successfully delivering for the remainder of 2019 and in this regard, we are confident in meeting our full-year expectations.”last_img read more

Heisler: LeBron James hand-delivers stars as Lakers keep flopping about

first_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Here’s how deftly LeBron James reached in his thumb and pulled out a plum.With two years on his contract in New Orleans, Anthony Davis hired LeBron’s agent, moved up his timetable and asked to be traded to the Lakers … even as they sank out of sight, despite Magic Johnson fleeing and the front office becoming a league-wide joke … culminating in last week’s agreement that will bring A.D. here.This looked like tampering with a capital T. The NBA just couldn’t prove it.If the league imposes draconian fines for mere flirting, this went far beyond Magic joking about going “wink wink” at Paul George on Jimmy Kimmel’s show or GM Rob Pelinka emailing George’s agent, for which the league fined the Lakers $500,000. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions I have tried to offer a defense for Pelinka, who was pilloried by the press after being gored by Magic. Nevertheless, even before this episode, it was clear enough that if they needed a scapegoat next season, it would be Rob.Of course, there’s a better reason to go outside to find the best managerial talent, and that’s to professionalize the Lakers basketball operation, which is now running at a dangerously dysfunctional level.Happily for the Lakers, they have two more guaranteed seasons with James, who’s now out wooing more stars.Now to see what the organization is capable of, if anything.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Brutally candid as this was, it left Paul out front to take the heat, and James free to keep pulling the strings behind the curtain.Get it? This was a LeBron production with the Lakers reduced to sitting back and waiting to see how it turned out.James had long tried to bring stars to ugly duckling Cleveland or capped-out Miami with little success. Now, even in the Lakers’ downtrodden state, he can wheel and deal as never before. With keen awareness of what he can get away with, the NBA’s most scrutinized player does it in plain sight.Last December, amid speculation that Davis was about to ask the Pelicans to trade him, LeBron dared to discuss it, saying it would be “amazing” to play alongside A.D.Amid the ensuing furor, the teams met in Staples Center a few days later … after which James took Davis out to dinner, all but confirming that this was happening.Outgoing, gregarious and popular among his peers, LeBron does this effortlessly, a new experience for the Lakers after years with lone wolf Kobe Bryant.Only in Kobe’s later, mellower years was he close enough to any star to recruit him, as he tried to do with Carmelo Anthony in 2014. Melo called him a surrogate big brother, but still re-signed in New York.Now the Lakers have the king of the recruiters … thankfully for them, since all else is chaos.Even with James hand-delivering Davis and reportedly recruiting Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler, the Lakers’ front office flopped around like a fish on a dock.The master plan all season was to trade for A.D., moving enough salary to leave a maximum slot of $32 million for an elite free agent.Unfortunately for the Lakers, when the deal went down, they neglected to include rookies Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones, off-loading another $5 million in salary … or account for the cost of A.D.’s trade bonus … slashing their cap space to $24 million.Insiders think it’s fixable with Pelinka now in talks with Atlanta, trying to give the rookies away or pay the Hawks to take them … but it wouldn’t have been necessary if they had thought it through.NBA teams are expected to be ahead of the curve when it comes to the Byzantine language of the salary cap – not behind it, trying to fix mistakes.Instead, the Lakers didn’t realize the problem until agreeing to the deal for A.D. They then went back to ask the Pelicans to restructure the deal but were turned down.In a sad irony for the Lakers, Pelinka was hired to be Johnson’s salary-cap guy as well as overseeing all the detail work, with Magic making only occasional appearances while also running his business empire. For a team with their stature … or, at least, their tradition … last week’s bumbling was unheard-of incompetence.“The Clippers have five or six really smart people in the front office who do nothing but think of this stuff,” said Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, an actual salary-cap expert.“The Lakers have more of a one-man show with Pelinka.”This is just the latest in their string of embarrassments, starting when Johnson fled … continuing with Jeanie Buss convening a seven-person committee to help Pelinka hire a coach that included marketing officials Linda Rambis and Tim Harris … then lost their top two candidates before settling for twice-fired Frank Vogel.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWhat James did was outright piracy, not only wooing A.D. away from the Pelicans but undercutting their trade leverage.Davis first gave the Pelicans a list of four teams. When that didn’t do it at midseason, he cut it to the Lakers and Knicks.The Knicks were presumably there only in the event they landed Kevin Durant and Irving. With little to offer, there were only perfunctory trade talks.Then there was Boston, which didn’t make the list but had keen interest and by far the most to offer with three first-round picks, a future Memphis pick in 2020 or 2021 and highly regarded young players such as Jayson Tatum.This was so worrisome to LeBron & Co., Paul went public to warn the Celtics off, telling Sports Illustrated, “They can trade for him but it will be for one year.” How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years last_img read more