EU gives Greece and France more time in gaming case

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece and France have been given two more months to respond to legal steps taken by the European Commission over alleged barriers to foreign gaming firms, the European Union executive said yesterday. The Commission took France and Sweden to within one step of European Court of Justice action in June when it also gave Greece an initial warning that it too was at risk over its gaming laws. It gave all three countries two months to respond. «The deadline for Greece and for France is now 29 October,» said Oliver Drewes, a spokesman for the executive’s Internal Market Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, yesterday. Drewes said there were good contacts with the Greek authorities. Greek betting monopoly OPAP is a listed company and one of Europe’s biggest betting firms but competition is restricted – even though OPAP competes in neighboring Cyprus.