Collusion Scandal May Threaten New Greek Gambling Laws

Written by Tom B. on 2010-09-24 at 14:54
Greek gambling laws - GamingZion
Thanks to a very silly mistake by a cabinet member, a potentially huge scandal regarding potential new gambling laws has erupted that could well set back the cause of liberalized internet gambling in Greece.

On Tuesday, the Greek government’s secretary of privatization, Georgios Christodoulakis sent out what was claimed to be his analysis resulting from open consultation on regulating Greek gambling laws. Ultimately, Christodoulakis’ “independent” decision had him favoring a licensing system in which the current gambling monopoly company OPAP would act as a “mediator” in offering tenders and awarding the licenses.

As was reported on this website last month, the Greek government published draft legislation on a new online gaming law with three options to consider: the French model providing for potentially unlimited licensing; issuing a limited number of licenses; and the model with OPAP at center of all licensing activity.

It’s not surprising that Christodoulakis came down on the side of the OPAP-centric plan: His “Regulation of the Greek Gaming Market” report, as it turns out, was written by an OPAP employee!

Hardly requiring any investigative journalism at all, someone at the Proto Thema newspaper simply opened the “document properties” to find the name of OPAP employee “Costas Foulides” listed as author and the acronym “OPAP” listed in the document’s title.

The government is naturally denying accusations of media with the claim that the template for the report was copied from an existing PDF file along with old “document properties” information.

No one can say what will result from this alleged collusion, but with OPAP’s apparent killing of a golden goose, the monopoly will surely not have as great a role in any new system as they might have and liberalization of Greek gambling laws has definitely had the clock turned back a bit. And then there’s the matter of that €32,000 per day fine being assessed the Greek government by the European Commission...

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