Casinos fuming against OPAP

By Vangelis Mandravelis

In the wake of accusations by numerous Internet betting sites that the Greek state favors the OPAP gaming company, the Mont Parnes Casino near Athens has filed a complaint with the European Commission against the government for allowing smoking by punters at OPAP betting shops with video lottery terminals (VLTs).

The letter received by the Commission a few days ago argues that «the lifting of the smoking ban at the VLT gaming venues constitutes a clear advantage for OPAP as the exclusive owner of a VLT operating license."

The letter adds that it has been internationally acknowledged that smoking at gaming venues has a direct and considerable impact on revenues and cited international studies as well as OPAP itself, which claimed in 2009 that its annual revenues were hurt by the smoking ban in its agents’ betting shops.

What the letter by the Parnitha establishment did not mention is that smoking is allowed at casinos in Greece.