4th of October 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
The European Union Competition Commission approved an exclusive VLT license and exclusive betting rights until 2030 to Greek gambling monopoly OPAP for whose retention the monopoly will pay an "adequate fee".
In doing this, the European Union neglected the protests against the Greek monopolistic regime by organisations such as the Remote Gaming Association. In the opinion of analyst Paris Mantzavras of Pantelakis Securities, this decision will result in 'no Internet betting licenses being awarded to third parties before 2020,' in addition to the concerns about pending legal challenges at the European Union's highest court from Stanleybet International Ltd., William Hill Plc and Sportingbet Plc.
It was stated by the EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia: "Greece has cooperated fully with the Commission to ensure that OPAP will not benefit from any undue financial advantage through the prolongation of its exclusive rights and its license for video lottery terminals. This allows for a timely privatisation of the gambling operator."
He also added that OPAP will be subject to an additional levy of up to 5 percent on gross revenues generated by the 35 000 video lottery terminals.
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