UK based sports betting firm Stanleybet Limited is studying potential legal action with the Greek government regarding Greek sports betting laws over competition and monopoly. Stanleybet seeks to overturn the domestic monopoly granted to operator OPAP.
Presently OPAP is Greece state operated betting and gaming provider with total revenues of €870m for the first quarter of of 2013.OPAP provide betting, casino and lottery operations for the region. The Greek government sold shares in OPAP to investment firma EMMA DELTA.
Faced with mounting debt and a harsh fiscal restrictions, the Greek government do not appear to want to open doors to sportsbook operators, operators feel that this situation is contributing to a fixed monopoly being being run in the region.
Stanleybet has accused the Greek government of rejecting a request it petitioned in 2004 to offer sports betting in Greece and now intends to seek damages for lost revenues amounting to approximately €240 million -$311.5 million.
“The Greek authorities seem resolved to maintain an illegal framework benefiting a company that is not 99 percent private,” said John Whittaker, Chief Operating Officer for Liverpool-based Stanleybet. “With this action [Stanleybet] is legitimately stating its intention to claim its legal rights to be compensated.”
The European Court of Justice ruled the OPAP monopoly illegal in January and urged Greece to push ahead with reforms designed to protect consumers or open up the sector.