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01 June, 2020
 
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Sports betting industry crushed by coronavirus

OPAP revenue all but wiped out as gambling market in Cyprus downed by coronavirus pandemic

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OPAP, Europe’s fourth-biggest betting business, has had almost all its revenue wiped out following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown measures in Greece and Cyprus, after casino operations in the Republic came to a grinding halt.

According to Reuters, OPAP said its outlets had been affected by government-imposed lockdowns to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Several number games were still running online last month with customers playing online, while lottery games not offered online have been suspended throughout the duration of lockdown measures.

Cyprus Casinos suspended operations in mid-March after the government ordered a shutdown of businesses where large groups of people gathered in one place

OPAP Cyprus celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, while OPAP company operates outlets in Greece and Cyprus, with a new video lottery operation and lower taxation cited in reports of a 62% rise in fourth-quarter net profit to €61.8 million according to Reuters.

But the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has eliminated about 99% of its gaming revenue in recent weeks, Reuters said citing company sources, having been forced to close all its roughly 4000 outlets in Greece and Cyprus.

Sports-betting in Cyprus is part of a wider gambling market which is a very popular industry on the island.

Cyprus Casinos (C2), which recently began operations on the island, suspended operations in mid-March after the government ordered a shutdown of certain private businesses including gaming agencies and casinos, where large groups of people gathered in one place.

Melco Resorts and Entertainment, which is involved in a joint venture with C2, is also working on the development of the massive City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort in Limassol.

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