ATHENS – Greece’s privatized gambling monopoly OPAP, which the state sold off in 2013, has lost its license to provide online sports betting, a move not seen as a critical blow given the low proceeds from the operation.
The country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State invalidated the license, said Kathimerini, overturning a regulation issued by the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) in 2014 which allowed OPAP to launch its Pame Stoichima sports betting platform. The corporation can now only provide betting services through its betting agencies across Greece.
It also means that if OPAP wants to get back online, a significant source of revenue for gambling operations in other countries which people prefer over only going to a brick-and-mortar setting to place bets, it will have to seek another authorization, on equal terms with other firms.
With an exclusive right to operate, OPAP didn’t have to deal with domestic competitors although those from other countries had been trying to get into the market. Instead, OPAP invested in rival betting firm Stoiximan.
The next move, the paper said, is up to the new ruling New Democracy which would have to pick up the ball if it wants to license service providers as the government said it had been planning to do anyway in 2020. OPAP offers gamblers a range of games such as Kino, Pro-Po, Lotto and live betting too.