Olympic EG sets up a joint venture in Italy, opening three casinos in phase one
Posted on 03.08.2012
Olympic EG and the Italian company GHolding agreed yesterday to jointly set up and operate medium-sized VLT slot casinos in Italy. Both parties own half of the operating company The Box S.r.l. The joint venture plans to open its first three casinos in Italy by the end of 2013, with OEG planning to invest EUR 4.5 million during the same period.
“This is a major challenge for us, being the first time that Olympic EG will be offering modern casino entertainment in Western Europe, and particularly on the strictly regulated Italian market,” commented Mr. Armin Karu, Chairman of the Board of OEG, adding that involving an experienced partner in Italy was a significant and strategic decision. Listing success factors for the new market, Mr. Karu said: “The key is to combine the experience of both partners, the local market knowledge of GHolding and strong capitalisation of OEG, ensuring sufficiently rapid growth, as necessary”.
The first three casinos of between 50 and 70 VLT slots are planned to be opened in the Northern Italy by the end of 2013 at the latest. “This format is very similar to the current gaming halls of Olympic Casino and we hope to successfully implement the same concept also in Italy,” said Mr. Madis Jääger, CEO of OEG, adding that it will be a kind of a pilot project. “In the first phase we are talking about three gaming locations with a total of couple of hundred VLT slots, but the potential is much higher,” explained Mr. Jääger.
Italy has only four so-called classic casinos, all of them in municipal ownership. There are total of 56,500 VLT slot licenses issued for the term of ten years. The largest concessionaire is Lottomatica, the leading world operator in the lottery sector that has a license for 10,000 VLT slots and will also be leasing the license and VLT slots to The Box S.r.l.
Since 2006, GHolding has been operating small VLT game rooms under the “La Casa del Gioco” (The House of Games) name with up to 200 square metres of floor space. All in all, the company manages 73 gaming locations, of which 15 belong to GHolding and the remaining 58 are affiliate contracts. “We are very proud of this opportunity of joint venture with such an experienced partner as Olympic Casino," said CEO of GHolding Mr Andrea Gasparri.
With more than 2,200 employees, Olympic Entertainment Group is the largest provider of casino entertainment in the region. OEG is a full member of the European Casino Association (ECA). Today, the Group operates casinos in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Belarus. OEG shares are traded on the main list of Tallinn Stock Exchange and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. All casino operators of Olympic Entertainment Group are responsible enterprises who notify their clients of the dangers associated with gambling.