The Greek Government Received Online Casino Applications

7 July 2013 – By Linda Jefferson

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Greece is one of the states in the European Union experiencing important economical problems due to the financial crisis. The online casino market could help the government in Athens receive more money from tax income. OPAP, the Greek Organization of Football Prognostics, is one of Europe’s largest betting organizations, which exclusively runs lottery and sports betting in Greece. Recently, two of the biggest names in the European online casino market, Betfair and William Hill, have applied to the Greek Ministry of Finance and the Greek Gambling Commission to run gaming operations in the country. For OPAP this means they will face a battle from two of Europe’s other largest gaming organizations to run the online gaming operations in Greece.

Representatives of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) also released a statement about the situation regarding OPAP and the Greek Government. According to the statement, the Greek Government is being very short-sighted as they granted OPAP an online monopoly without complying with the treaty on the functioning of the European Union. Therefore, the government may have to compensate companies who had a legitimate expectation that they would be able to apply for the concession. The most important thing related to this situation is that the Greek government is denying itself tax income from established online operators that would bring in millions of Euros in taxation if they could be licensed to operate on the Greek market.

Having recently been bailed out by the European Union, Greece is still experiencing money troubles right now, and companies like William Hill or Betfair running operations in their country could definitely bring extra money in tax to the Greek government. Besides the fact that allowing other online gambling operators to access the market would surely be beneficial to the country as a whole, online casino fans in Greece could have other options of enjoying their favorite games. Analysts believe that indeed the government is short-sighted and that there is more to this than meets the eye. In the next period we will find out if the applications are accepted and players can enjoy their games from their favorite operator.

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