July 25, 2012 / 6:26 AM / 5 years ago

Greece's OPAP picks Lottomatica as online betting partner

* Lottomatica to help OPAP expand into online betting

* Intralot frontrunner to become OPAP’s offline IT provider

ATHENS, July 25 (Reuters) - Europe’s biggest listed betting company OPAP said on Wednesday it had picked G2, a unit of Italy’s Lottomatica, as its IT provider for expanding into online betting, a business it sees as a key growth driver.

OPAP had shortlisted three firms in March, including G2, Playtech and Greece’s Intralot.

“This choice allows OPAP to make an important step in its history and offer iGaming services,” the company said in a statement.

The 34-percent state-owned firm, which is slated for privatisation under the country’s international bailout, plans to offer all its existing and future games online.

OPAP paid the government about 850 million euros ($1 billion) last year to extend its Greek sports betting monopoly to 2030 and obtain an exclusive licence for 35,000 Video Lotto Terminals in the country.

In a separate tender to pick a new information technology supplier for its existing, terminal-based network, OPAP said it would proceed by examining a bid from Intralot, the world’s second-biggest online gaming provider.

OPAP received in October two bids for its IT tender, one from Intralot and another from GTECH, a unit of Lottomatica.

$1 = 0.8275 euros Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Mark Potter

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