The market of games of chance is entering a new era after a decision by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, which invalidates the license that gaming giant OPAP had to provide online sports betting.
The decision cancels the regulation issued by the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) in 2014 which allowed OPAP to launch its Pame Stoichima sports betting platform. The corporation can now only provide betting services through its betting agencies across Greece.
Although the CoS decision’s financial impact on OPAP is seen as insignificant, as the company’s takings from online betting are very low, this will change the landscape of the market. OPAP is practically being forced to re-enter online betting, and this time on equal terms as other market players.
Observers attribute the change in OPAP’s attitude to its supposedly exclusive right to online sports betting in Greece, as well as its decision to invest in rival betting firm Stoiximan, to the CoS decision, which had appeared likely since late 2018.
It is now the government that must deal with the issue, with sources saying that the wisest move would be the swift licensing of interested service providers, which the government was always planning to do within 2020.