Tuesday June 2,2013 : RGA MEMBERS APPLY FOR GREEK LICENCING
Greek Government opening itself up to legal claims, says RGA
The Remote Gaming Association has said two of its members have submitted applications to the Greek State, the Minister of Finance and the Hellenic Gaming Commission for a five-year licence to provide online gaming services to the Greek market.
The un-named members have filed their applications in-line with the Greek Gambling Act, a piece of legalization that the Greek Government has failed to implement effectively granting OPAP the monopoly to provide online gambling in Greece without express legal approval or the initiation of a competitive and transparent tendering process.
The RGA pointed out that its members deem OPAP's land-based monopoly, and now seemingly online monopoly, as illegal and against the fundamental rules of EU Treaties and CJEU case law which calls for the public and transparent award of gambling licences.
Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the RGA said today: “The Greek Government is being very short sighted. In granting OPAP an online monopoly without complying with the Treaty the Government may have to compensate companies who had a legitimate expectation that they would be able to apply for the concession. They may also have to refund investors in OPAP who had been led to believe that OPAP did have a monopoly.
“But 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.
“In the absence of constructive progress to introduce an open, transparent and fair online gambling regime, our members have made it clear that the RGA should use all efforts at its disposal including legal challenges to the EU and the Greek courts, lobbying and public relations in order to get to a legal, clear, workable and fair resolution.”