Betfair and William Hill are both applying to run the Greek gambling monopoly, but there’s more to the story than the headline indicates. The applications are just one scene from what’s turning into a classic Greek drama.
At the center of fight is OPAP, Greece’s gambling monopoly. The Greek Government is trying to sell off a chunk of OPAP to a Czech investor without formal licensing hearings.
Not surprisingly, that decision isn’t sitting well with the Remote Gaming Association (RGA) members. That’s the real motivation why Betfair and William Hill are attempting to block the sale with their own applications.
(Betfair, as you might recall, left the Greek market last year after saying Greece was not abiding by EU regulations.)
In press interviews, RGA, CEO, Clive Hawkswood said that the Greeks are behaving both illegally and irrationally by selling OPAP in this manner adding:
most importantly, the Greek government is denying itself tax income from established online operators that would bring in millions of euros in taxation if they could be licensed in Greece.
The RGA is also suggesting that operators left out in the cold by the sale could be entitled to monetary compensation under current trade agreements.
This is just the opening scene of a drama that’s certain to drag on and on.
Do you think OPAP’s monopolies should be opened up to competition? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.