ECONOMY

Road is clearing for OPAP sale

The obstacles to OPAP?s privatization are starting to move, as on Wednesday the European Commission cleared up the issue of state subsidies, while the government and the gaming company itself are strengthening their case for OPAP to retain its monopoly status.

Brussels stated that OPAP?s new concession contracts include no state subsidies. They are the contracts extending its monopoly in its 13 games of chance by another 10 years, i.e. until 2030, and in the exclusive utilization of video lottery terminals (VLTs), or slot machines, for a decade, until 2012.

?Greece has cooperated fully with the Commission to ensure that OPAP will not benefit from any undue financial advantage through the prolongation of its exclusive rights and its license for video lottery terminals,? Brussels said.

OPAP announced on Wednesday the amendment of its concession agreements signed with the state in 2000 and in 2011, so that the latter will retain control of the corporation that will thus justify its monopoly in the local gaming market.