As Greek gambling laws go under the EU microscope, Unibet has announced that, from 28th August, they will no longer be accepting new customers who are residents in Greece.
The announcement blames the on-going legal developments in the country over the plans to give betting giant OPAP an online gambling monopoly in the economically challenged country.
This major piece of gambling news could have huge implications for affiliates within Greece, and is sure to result in more pressure for the EU to look into the legality of potential law changes.
Unibet’s statement also refers to the ongoing discussions between the EU and European Commission over the future of online casinos in Greece.
Frustratingly for casinos, this situation has been ongoing for more than 5 years, with the European Commission telling Greece, back in 2008, that the OPAP’s offline gambling monopoly was not compatible with EU law.
In its recent Stanleybet ruling, the European Court of Justice also recognized that Greece had failed to provide any justifiable evidence to support OPAP’s offline monopoly.
Earlier this month, Greece blacklisted 402 online gambling websites, including blogs as well as most of the word’s major casinos. As such, the Remote Gambling Association has commented several times on the situation.
Clive Hawkswood, CEO of the RGA, stressed: “We are therefore urging Commissioner Barnier to make it clear to the Greek authorities that he will not hesitate to bring early infringement proceedings against Greece if it does not fulfil its obligations and, even worse, if it creates new breaches of EU law by awarding an online sports betting monopoly to OPAP instead of creating an EU compliant gambling regime.”
After five years of negotiations, any resolution to this conflict still seems a long way off. The precarious nature of the Greek economy has led to them being granted more leeway than usual and it remains to be seen if the EC will change its mind and take action.