Friday October 3,3014 : LEGAL RECOURSE A POSSIBILITY ON OPAP MONOPOLY SAYS RGA (Update)
Lobbies for open, regulated and fairly taxed market
On the back of news of Intralot's Greek Supreme Court challenge against the sale of the exclusive 20-year horse race betting licence to OPAP, the Remote Gaming Association (RGA) has reiterated its concerns regarding the Greek online gambling regime, saying an open, regulated and fairly taxed market would be of benefit to both the Government and Greek consumers.
The RGA made its case at the Greek Gaming Conference 2014 earlier this week saying the only viable long term market for online gambling in Greece is one that is open to multiple licensees who can provide value, choice and a range of products that are demanded by consumers.
Highlighting the customer protection argument, the RGA said in a statement: "The Commission must at least have suspicions that the motivation for not offering licences for online gambling in the past two years had nothing to do with consumer protection but was designed to sell the Government’s shares in OPAP at the highest possible price."
24 EU licensed gambling companies, temporarily green lighted by Greek authorities in 2012, are under threat of closure following OPAP's award. Gross Gambling Revenue taxes from those operators are estimated to yield Euro 50 million to the Greek State in 2014.
The fact that OPAP has little experience in the online gambling sector also raises alarm bells and the firm cannot argue that it is better placed to protect consumers than companies who have been active in the sector for many years, the RGA said.
Sue Rossiter, director of projects and policy at the RGA said the association will be relying on all legitimate options at its disposal, including legal challenges to the EU and Greek courts, in order to get to a "legal, clear, workable and fair resolution."