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Warsaw gamble looks a safe bet for Olympic

  • 2007-09-19
  • By Mike Collier

NUMBERS GAME: Andri Avila indicated that a Polish listing is a strategic move

TALLINN - Estonian casino operator Olympic Entertainment Group has applied to have its shares listed on the Warsaw bourse in addition to its current listing on the Tallinn stock exchange.

OEG is already the biggest gaming company in the Baltic region where it operates 35 casinos in Estonia, 37 in Latvia and 12 in Lithuania under the Olympic Casino brand name. In addition it possesses a portfolio of casinos in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Romania and a subsidiary company recently commenced operations in Slovakia.

OEG employs more then 3,000 people, is the full member of the European Casino Association (ECA) and is also a major sponsor of the Estonian and Polish Olympic Committees. The latter sponsorship deal suddenly looks like a very wise investment.

Listing on the Warsaw exchange is likely to be a precursor to further expansion in Eastern and Central Europe, away from its Baltic heartland. Poland would seem to be the most obvious target, where OEG currently runs just seven casinos.

Andri Avila, member of the Management Board of OEG, said "OEG is an international company and by now operates already in eight countries. The Warsaw bourse is Europe's fourth largest stock market and being listed on it supports our future ambitions."

A decision on the listing is likely to be made by the end of the month.