RGA CALLS ON EU COMMISSIONER TO ACT AGAINST GREECE
05th August, 2013 at 15:55:16
Demands action on Greece 's non-compliance with EU law
The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) is fighting the fight, taking on the Greek government through a letter addressed to the European Commissioner, Michael Barnier, which demands action against anti-competitive reforms to Greek gambling law.
The RGA cited the Commission's 2008 Reasoned Opinion sent to Greece regarding its view that OPAP's offline gambling monopoly was incompatible with EU Law along with the recent European Court of Justice's ruling for Stanleybet that said Greece had not provided any evidence justifying OPAP's offline monopoly.
Despite these opinions Greece has forged ahead with the aggressive promotion, and addition, of new gambling products along with the introduction of amendments to Greek law favouring OPAP, said the RGA.
The Association further said the proposal to award OPAP an online monopoly is being conducted without fair and transparent tender procedures and is in breach of EU law with the Greek Government risking legal action from disadvantaged parties.
Two operators and RGA members, Betfair
and William Hill
, have applied for the Greek online gambling monopoly placing them in a position to bring proceedings before the Greek Council of State regarding OPAP's monopoly should the outcome of their application prove unsatisfactory (see previous report).
The RGA has requested Commissioner Barnier commence infringement proceedings should the Greek Parliament pass the amendments as they currently stand.
Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the RGA said: The RGA understands that Greece is currently under considerable pressure because it has to address the obligations set by its creditors for the financing of its public sector and debts. We also appreciate that because of that, the Commission might be minded to give Greece greater leeway than usual.
"However, after five years there must surely be a limit to how far Greece can unjustifiably be allowed to stretch the rules. Greece needs stability and legal certainty.
"We are therefore urging Commissioner Barnier to make it clear to the Greek authorities that he will not hesitate to bring early infringement proceedings against Greece if it does not fulfil its obligations and, even worse, if it creates new breaches of EU law by awarding an online sports betting monopoly to OPAP instead of creating an EU compliant gambling regime.
Related News Tags: Europe, Greece, Betfair, William Hill