Two days after Greece's betting monopoly was declared legal by a ruling of the country's Council of State, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) expressed its concerns about the Greek online gambling regime and pushed again for the opening of the market.
"The current situation for online gambling in Greece is damaging to the reputation of the Greek regulator and the Greek government," the Director of Projects and Policy at the RGA Sue Rossiter said.
"[The monopoly]," Rossiter continued, "puts customers at risk by encouraging them to use unlicensed operators if they do not want to be restricted to the limited offer of OPAP." This behavior "inevitably deny the Greek government millions of Euros in gambling and associated taxes."
According to the RGA, which includes prestigious members like 888, William Hill, Unibet and IGT, the solution to most problems would be to reform the current legislation and open the market to new operators.
"Holders of the twenty-four temporary licenses have demonstrated that a well regulated regime has benefits for all concerned," Rossiter explained, referring to the temporary licenses offered by the Greek government in 2012 and that are now under threat of removal.
"An extension of this limited freedom to a fully regulated and taxed market can only widen those benefits," Rossiter explained.
The battle over Greece is not lost yet
If Tuesday's ruling about the legitimacy of OPAP's monopoly seemed to be the conclusive act of a legal battle started by several international operators back in 2004, the RGA announced that the association and its members are ready to keep fighting for their right to operate in Greece.
"In the absence of constructive progress to introduce an open, transparent and fair online gambling regime in Greece, the RGA will be relying on all legitimate options at its disposals," Rossiter concluded. She added that there is the possibility to turn again to the EU and Greek courts "in order to get to a legal, clear, workable and fair resolution."