The Council of State’s decision to cancel OPAP’s online sports betting licence forces the operator to re-apply on equal terms as other companies in Greece.
Greece.- The Council of State of Greece has decided to cancel the online sports betting licence from OPAP. The third-largest operator in Europe obtained its licence from the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) in 2014, the country’s highest administrative court’s decision forces OPAP to re-enter the market on equal terms.
The decision comes after Austrian company GLB GmbH (Goalbet) appealed the decision from the gambling commission. It argued that OPAP was never licenced to offer online gambling services and that it did not comply with laws.
The Council said that OPAP should have followed the licensing procedure that the other 24 legitimate online betting companies were subject to. Thus, it said that OPAP’s licence does not apply to online gambling and therefore its cancellation was necessary.
“Gambling companies that followed the legal procedures to comply with laws and therefore provide legal online gambling and gambling services, have recourse to the competent courts seeking damages,” said the court.
OPAP improved finances in the second quarter of 2019
OPAP’s gaming gross revenue (GGR) rose 6.5% to €383.6 million thanks to VLTs contribution and higher lottery performance.
Gross profit totalled €152.3 million in the second quarter, which is an 8.6% year-on-year increase. The Greek gambling monopoly said that revenue growth is bringing in higher profitability expansion. EBITDA in the three-month period came in at €87 million, which is a 24% increase year-on-year.
Moreover, operating expenses in Q2 declined by 6.7% at €74.4 million. This was mainly as a result of reduced IT costs following the conclusion of the IT transformation project. Net profit in the second quarter was €34.6 million, an increase of 32.2%.