Intralot challenges OPAP Greek horserace betting licence win

Intralot challenges OPAP Greek horserace betting licence win

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Greek-owned gaming and lottery provider Intralot has launched a challenge against the sale of the country’s sole horserace betting licence to gambling company OPAP.

Last week, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) national privatisation company awarded the licence to OPAP, which submitted a bid of €40.5m ($51.2m).

Intralot, which also had a bid rejected by the body, has now filed restraining orders against the HRADF and asked Greece’s top administrative court to block the sale of the licence.

The company cited a violation of transparency rule, fair competition and equal treatment as the reasons for the challenge, which is expected to be heard in court by mid-October.

The licence sale is part of an agreed privatisation plan with Athens' international lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, under a €240bn bailout.

Intralot failed to respond to requests by TotallyGaming.com to clarify the details of its challenge.

In related news, the Greek Council of State has ruled that the position OPAP holds in the country is legal and fully compliant with EU treaties. 

In a ruling earlier this week, the Council said all reforms that the Greek Parliament adopted to regulate online gambling are compliant with European law.

Judges ruled that OPAP can retain its monopolistic position in the country as it operates with the aim of fighting illegal betting and other criminal activities in the gaming sector.

The decision brings to an end a legal battle that began in 2004 when William Hill, Stanleybet and Sportingbet criticised the monopoly for being in conflict with treaties that regulate the freedom of services with the EU.

 

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