Australian online betting company Centrebet has been offering internet betting in Greece since 2009 through their primary centrebet.com domain. Naturally this online sports betting company wanted to offer Greek services through local Greek web domains, but unfortunately, someone was “squatting” on both Centrebet.gr and Centerbet.gr domain names, preventing Centrebet from using them. Squatting in this situation means that someone not associated with Centrebet purchased the .gr domains, presumably in hopes of selling them at a high price.
According to Centrebet’s Head of Marketing Luke Brill, “Greece is one of Centrebet’s fastest growing markets and it has been a priority for us to recover the domain successfully and ensure we have full control of our online brand in Greece.”
Centrebet has now recovered both Centrebet.gr and Centerbet.gr domains from the squatters after several failed attempts in recent months. The new domains ensure that Centrebet’s online sportsbook in Greece is easily accessible to Greek punters. The domains were recovered through arbitration rather than by paying off the squatters. Centrebet worked with Melbourne IT and the Greek Post Office which is responsible for resolving disputes regarding .gr domains.
“Melbourne IT’s effective recovery of the domain in time for Greece’s participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup was also a high priority and we are very pleased there is no longer any cause for customer confusion,” Brill commented.
As Greece continues to struggle financially, the government is quickly looking for ways to open up the country’s online gambling industry, letting players gamble online more freely. Previously, the only way to legally bet on sports in Greece was through the state-run monopoly OPAP. Now, driven by both financial concerns and by pressure from the EU to dissolve the gambling monopoly, the country is quickly liberalizing their internet gambling sector, and hopes to have full regulatory and licensing procedures operating by 2011.