Greek gambling operator OPAP was recently accused of violating Greece and the European Union’s competition laws and handed a €24.5 million fine. However, the company plans to challenge the decision, believing it to be unfair.
The fine was imposed on the operator by Greece’s gambling regulator, the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) following an alleged competition laws violation. The accusations stem from complaints by smaller Greek Gambling companies which claim that OPAP is guilty of unfair pricing, sanctioning transactions unfairly and limiting distribution of equipment.
As a result, the HGC issued the aforementioned fine, seeking to reprimand OPAP for its alleged wrongdoings.
However, OPAP was unamused. While the operator expressed its respect for the regulatory bodies, it pointed out inaccuracies in the allegations.
OPAP Disagrees with the Decision
According to the Greek gambling company, the HGC’s decision does not relate to the company’s main business but rather to bill payment services and mobile top-up services offered by its agencies. In addition, OPAP noted that the current decision contradicts an earlier decision issued by the regulator’s committee and multiple civil court rulings.
OPAP added that HGC did not take Bank of Greece data into account before making its decision. In addition, the operator said that the regulator has calculated the fine in an unacceptable way. According to the gambling company, the HGC calculated the fine over the total turnover of OPAP and not over the minor turnover in the markets where the company has allegedly violated the Greek and EU rules.
Finally, the majority of HCC proceeded with an unfounded increase of the size of TORA Wallet and TORA Direct in the bill payment services and mobile top-up markets respectively, while the fine imposed was calculated – in an unacceptable way – over the total turnover of OPAP and not over the minor turnover in the markets in which the alleged violation took place, i.e. the turnover of TORA Wallet and TORA Direct.
OPAP reiterated its commitment to adhering to the law, following fair competition protocols and protecting the group’s consumers from gambling harm. However, the firm disagrees with the recent decision and plans to challenge it in court.
Earlier this year, OPAP signed a long-term partnership agreement with OpenBet. Under the deal, the latter company agreed to support the Greek operator’s sports betting business with technology, trading solutions and the cutting-edge SportCast solution. This move helped OpenBet consolidate its presence in the important Greek market while supporting OPAP’s robust business.