An announcement arrived this week from the Remote Gaming Association (RGA) that two of its (still unnamed) members have submitted applications to the Greek State, the Minister of Finance and the Hellenic Gaming Commission in-line with the Greek Gambling Act for a five-year license which would enable them to provide online gaming services on the Greek market.
According to the RGA, its members regard OPAP's land-based, and now seemingly online monopoly, as illegal and as violation of the fundamental rules of EU Treaties and CJEU case law which calls for the public and transparent award of gambling licenses.
It has been assessed by Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the RGA: “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.”