Monday March 25,2013 : RGA EXPRESSES SURPRISE AT OPAP ONLINE MONOPOLY EXPANSION
European Commission brought into the fray
The Remote Gaming Association has challenged the European Commission to intervene on the Greek Government's intent to extend OPAP's land based monopoly to online gambling products.
In a statement released today, the RGA expressed its surprise at the Greek Government's recent notification to the European Commission on amending its existing gambling law to extend OPAP's offline gambling monopoly to include online products such as sports betting, casino and poker, despite a recent European Court of Judgment ruling OPAP's offline monopoly as illegal.
Protection of OPAP's share price in the lead up to the institution's privatisation is the driving factor behind the Government's latest move, believes the RGA.
Clive Hawkswood, chief executive officer of the RGA said: “Having received notification that the Greek Government intends to extend what has already been declared an illegal monopoly to online gambling products, the ball is in the Commission’s court.
"The Greek Government has granted an exclusive right to OPAP and that infringes Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). As defenders of the Treaty we believe that the Commission must act now to prevent Member States from undermining it.
"While Greece continues to support OPAP’s monopoly, the Greek people would benefit from additional choice and better value if the remote gambling market is opened up.”