The Greek police raids on Stanleybet International's new betting shops in Greece following complaints by regional monopoly OPAP had a sequel this week when the police released three punters arrested over the weekend, along with Stanleybet associates Theodoros Lazaridis and Alexandros Vasdekis. There was no court hearing or charges laid, indicating that there would be no immediate prosecution.
Greek media reported that senior government officials had ordered that more investigations be carried out.
Deputy md at Stanleybet, Adrian Morris, opined that the new direction taken by the authorities not only allowed the re-opening of the company’s shops, but was “…a clear indication that the Greek authorities consider that our business model is legitimate under European law, and that there are flaws in the Greek’s own restrictive domestic legalization”.
Hoeever, the shops may find it difficult to immediately resume business due to the removal of computer and other office equipment during the course of the police raids.
Greek authorities are probably treading lightly on the sensitive question of European Union law and the principle of free movement of goods and services. The country is already the subject of a final warning from the European Commission, which enforces compliance among member nations.