The Athens based Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP) is a one of Europe's largest betting organisations, an organisation that exclusively runs lottery and sports betting in Greece, could well face a battle from two of Europe's other largest gaming organisations to run the online gaming operations in Greece after reports surfaced today suggesting that Betfair and William Hill have applied to the Greek Ministry of Finance and the Greek Gambling Commission to run gaming operations in the country.
Clive Hawkswood is the Chief Executive Officer for the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and he had this to say this morning about the situation regarding OPAP and the Greek Government. He said, “The Greek Government is being very short-sighted. In granting OPAP an online monopoly without complying with the treaty on the functioning of the European Union 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.”
Mr Hakwswood also said, “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.”
Greece is just one country that is experiencing money troubles right now having recently been bailed out by the European Union, and having companies like William Hill or Betfair running gaming operations in their country would surely be beneficial to the country as a whole, and not just because of the extra money in tax it would bring to the Greek Government. As Mr Hawkswood rightly points out the Greek Government are being very short-sighted indeed which would lead you to believe there is more to this than meets the eye.