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Revenues of 5000 lotto stations in Greece dropped by 35% and 50%

04 November 2010 / 16:11:36  GRReporter
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Lotto stations owners announced that they will go on strike all day tomorrow for their taxation is unfair. Their demands include the Parliament to validate the regulation of lotto stations functioning and security measures to be taken as they are being robbed every day.  

In particular, the demands of the Federation of professional agents in prognostic games that is the organizer of the strike and expects all the owners of the 5000 lotto stations in Greece to participate are: (1) no accounting books to be demanded until a formula to cover damages to lotto stations owners is found, (2) the Parliament to validate the regulation on lotto stations operation, (3) all games of OPAP to be transferred to the lotto stations and (4) lotto stations owners and lotto stations revenue to be insured.
"We expect the contract which was signed between lotto stations owners and OPAP to guarantee their work and the profit of OPAP to be validated by the Parliament but it has not passed yet. This contract concerns the lotto station functioning because we are currently uncertain," said Sofia Andonaki from the trade union of the Federation of professional agents in prognostic games. "On the one hand, lotto stations owners are living in complete uncertainty and on the other hand there is no work - costs are high, income is not, because people do not have money to play and the stations are nearing bankruptcy. There is another problem - OPAP wants to transfer games on the Internet and people can play at home, which affects the lotto stations. Lotto stations turnover has fallen by 80% in one year, because of the law that changed taxation, but also because of the crisis," added Ms. Andonaki.

"Most people who come to play prefer the games Kino and Stihima. Lotto stations turnover fell between 35% and 50% depending on the neighbourhood they are located. The lotto stations are private, but are controlled by OPAP - Organisation of Football Prognostics, which belongs to the Ministry of Culture. OPAP authorizes us to open the lotto station, makes the games and allocates the revenue money to be given to winners. There are a lot of lotto stations in Greece already - 5500 in Greece and Cyprus, and the initial regulation according to which the distance between two lotto stations could not be less than 400 meters has now changed and the distance was reduced to 200 meters. This is not a problem as long as there are customers," said the owner of a lotto station in downtown Athens Dimitris Leonidas.

"The tax we have paid so far was a factor of the profit minus an amount for the damages. The accounting books, which were introduced followed the new law on taxation, but we have damages that can not be recorded in this way. We have nothing against these books, but a record for damages should be implied. What do I mean? For example, we have damages from the pools which we fill for group games - these are coupons that we fill, we give account of them to OPAP, but we could be unable to sell them. This means that we could fill ten pools but sell one. OPAP will account ten pools to be used and it will register this as a profit for us, but it is not. Another problem is the security of lotto stations - you can see that every day a colleague becomes victim of robbery. We were promised to be provided security as the bank money is provided security against theft, but nothing happened. Apart from these are security measures like cameras and secret doors," said Mr. Leonidas. He also added that lotto stations owners will be affected by OPAP’s decision to shift the betting game Stihima to the Internet as most of the customer visit them for it. The new rivals of the lotto stations will be the games that OPAP plans to launch in coffee bars and cafes and in case the State Organization for football matches estimates decides to skip lotto stations as it deems them expensive.

Tags: LottoFootballBetsPoolsLotto stationsStrikeOPAP
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