Online Poker from Greece's OPAP Will Have to Wait for Sportsbetting Development

The Greek semi-monopoly OPAP—Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics—has released its annual report for 2013 and said that the first online gambling that will be produced by its deal with GTECH will be sportsbetting.

Under a complex existing structure, Greece has issued temporary licenses to 24 operators, which is the legal umbrella under which online poker is currently offered. For example, PokerStars has a commercial relationship with Diamond Link, one of the licensees, so can legally offer services from its PokerStars.GR domain.

OPAP has been given a semi-monopoly, in a controversial and provisional authorization by the EU Commission, and it is now developing an online sportsbetting, casino and poker platform with GTECH.

The announcement in the annual report suggests that online poker will not be provided by OPAP until after sportsbetting has been developed. OPAP’s semi-monopoly has been granted until 2030, long after the “temporary” licenses for other operators are due to expire.

Short a successful legal challenge in the EU courts, in a few years’ time OPAP will be the monopoly poker provider in Greece.