OPAP appeals Council of State decision to revoke licence

Greek gambling and lottery group OPAP SA has stressed that it is looking into appealing a recent decision made by the Greek Council of State to revoke its online sports betting licence.

Judges of Greece’s highest-ranking administrative court upheld an appeal made by Austrian operator Goalbet, who challenged the Hellenic Gaming Commission’s (EEEP) licensing approval of OPAP online sportsbook subsidiary Pame Stoixima.

OPAP has since responded to the ruling made by the Council of State, and has stressed that it is looking into the ‘appropriate actions’ that can be taken.

In a statement released by the group, it said: “OPAP SA announces that it received a decision by the Council of State accepting an Annulment Application against the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), thus annulling the HGC’s decision No 105/2/16.05.2014, based on which the offering of online fixed-odds betting by OPAP SA was regulated.

“The decision is in direct contrast to a series of past actions by the Greek State, including among others, the official information provided to all candidate investors participating in the privatisation process of OPAP SA, about the license and the company’s legal right to offer online fixed-odds betting until 2020.

“Despite the fact that the current contribution of online betting is not material and in any case below 1% of OPAP Group’s total revenue (GGR), OPAP, following this decision, is already in contact with competent bodies including the HGC for all the appropriate actions to be taken. The company is also evaluating how to pursue the protection of its interests by all legal means.”

In response to OPAP’s announcement, the Council of State has stated that if the gambling group wishes to re-enter the market, it must ensure that it is compliant with the country’s licensing conditions.

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