Greece not sporting towards online betting operator
StanleyBet had not even opened its doors properly and OPAP, a Greek gambling monopoly lodged a complaint with the police. The upshot is that 2 employees of StanleyBet were arrested, some gambling machines and equipment confiscated and the shop closed temporarily.
The UK online betting operator said that its legal right to provide online betting services under European Union law and previous rulings of the European Court of Justice has been violated. The Greek police closed the shop on the grounds that it had “conducted illegal betting without a permit from the appropriate authorities aiming to make monetary gain at the expense of the Greek state”. Less than a month ago, Chris Hadjiemmanuil, owner of OPAP has said that he would be taking legal action against StanleyBet.
OPAP has signed an agreement with the Greek government in 2000 which gives them the monopoly on all betting operations in Greece for 20 years. No other betting company is allowed to operate in Greece until 2020. StanleyBet said it has the right to offer online betting service to any European member state regardless whether such member state has monopolistic agreements in place.
This is going to be a battle of note as neither company is exactly a pushover. OPAP operates approximately 5,500 outlets in Greece and Cyprus and had sales of €5 billion last year. StanleyBet online betting operates 1,400 outlets in countries like Belgium, Croatia, Romania, and Poland. According to Dow Jones, the Greek sports betting market is said to be worth billions.