Good news for the Greek government. The European Commission has given them approval to extend their betting monopoly as being offered in the tender for its 33 percent stake in the betting business OPAP SA.
The EU commission has ruled that an “adequate fee” being asked will see the winning bidder receive “no undue economic advantage.” The Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund (HRADF) agency can now officially offer the winning bidder the exclusive rights to operate 13 games of chance until 2030; in addition to a ten-year license to allow them the capacity to run 35,000 video lottery terminals.
This will be the first steps into privatization of OPAP and solves Greece’s initial issues on complying with the EU’s timeline for payback of loans.
Joaquin Almunia, Competition Commissioner for the European Union said, “Greece has cooperated fully with the [European] Commission to ensure that OPAP will not benefit from any undue financial advantage through the prolongation of its exclusive rights and its license for video lottery terminals.”
With regards to online gaming, Analyst Paris Mantzavras at Pantelakis Securities said the decision would result in no Internet betting licenses being awarded to third parties before 2020.