The sale of the Greek horserace betting license could be blocked by the state administrative court after complaints from lottery provider Intralot.
Last week, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) received two bids for the domestic horserace betting license, and the national privatization company decided to award it to OPAP. The local gaming operator had submitted a bid of around EUR40.5 million ($51.2 million).
The sale comes after Athens’ international lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, agreed to a privatization plan under a EUR240 billion bailout.
Even though the license was awarded in accordance with the current Greek gambling laws, Reuters has reported that Intralot has filed restraining orders against the HRADF. The lottery operator has accused the privatization company of breaking rules regarding transparency, fair competition and equal treatment. The court will hear the case in October.
Internet gambling in Greece gets the green light
On a more positive note, newspapers say local authorities have ruled that the position held by OPAP is legal and fully compliant with requirements imposed by the European Union. The Council of State has concluded that all reforms adopted by the Parliament to regulate online gambling sites in Greece are in accordance with the European law.
In January 2013, a formal judgment of the European Court of Justice expressed concerns over OPAP’s monopoly on the local gambling market. But Greek judges have ruled that the company can keep its position, because it aims to combat illegal gambling.