Greek Gaming Regulation Under Fire Greek Gaming Regulation Under Fire
Peter Barabas, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License
Key Takeaways
  • RGA and EGBA denounce Greek’s plan to extend OPAP’s monopoly into online gambling.
  • EU issues letter to Hellenic Gaming Commission regarding OPAP plans.
  • Commission responds that “it will respect EU law,” but no statement from Treasury.
  • Operators and industry groups urge EU Commission to act.

The EU Commission has sent the latest in a long series of letters complaining that Greek gambling regulation is in breach of EU law.

The trigger for the latest missive was a decision by the Greek Finance Ministry to offer partially state-owned OPAP SA a ten year monopoly on virtually all online gaming.

OPAP currently has a monopoly on all offline gambling in Greece. This monopoly is the subject of a legal challenge and the industry anticipates that it will be ruled illegal by the European Court of Justice.

The industry was quick to decry the Greek move.

“There can be no justification for extending OPAP’s monopoly to cover nearly every aspect of online gambling,” stated The Remote Gambling Association in a recent press release. “We have urged the Greek government to reconsider and have called on the European Commission to take action if it does not, because this move is a blatant breach of EU process and EU law.”

European operator SportingBet complained recently that it was “scandalous” that Greece was planning to award OPAP an extension of its monopoly, adding it was “a disgrace” and the Greek government “should be ashamed with how this has been allowed to happen.”

Sportingbet has 50,000 Greek customers which it would lose if this monopoly arrangement goes ahead.