Just lately, the Hellenic Competitors Fee (HCC) imposed an enormous €24.6-million tremendous on the Greek playing big OPAP after it was discovered to have violated the nation’s competitors legal guidelines.
The investigation checked the nation’s operations from 2017 to 2021. It was based mostly on complaints from two teams – the Hellenic Cooperative of Skilled Lotteries’ Brokers (SEPPP) and a coalition of different representatives. They argued that the 2017 exclusivity settlement of OPAP featured “non-compete clauses” underneath Article 13 that finally prolonged to main actions.
OPAP confronted accusations of violating the nation’s aggressive practices and exploiting its market dominance with the intention to generate revenue, which raised issues that the playing operator violated each the European Union competitors rules and the Greek Competitors Act.
Because of the accusations, the Hellenic Competitors Fee initiated an investigation of OPAP’s brick-and-mortar gaming actions, overlaying lotteries, state lotteries, horse-race and sports activities betting and gaming terminals, together with OPAP Video Lottery Terminals and on line casino slot machines.
The operator’s main providers, equivalent to cash remittance, invoice cost, and distribution of third-party merchandise have been additionally a part of the checks.
After finishing the investigation, the Greek playing regulatory physique concluded that OPAP violated the competitors legal guidelines of each Greece and the European Union (EU) by partaking in actions that contravened the competitors practices throughout all related markets. The watchdog additional famous that the contractual commitments held by the operator in ancillary markets have been discovered to impede innovation and competitors, which probably had an influence on service and product availability.
Because of the investigation findings, OPAP was slapped with an order to stop these practices and acquired a warning of a €10,000 tremendous a day in case it did not adjust to the Hellenic Competitors Fee’s order.
OPAP Disagrees with the Hellenic Competitors Fee’s Choice
OPAP expressed a robust disagreement with the choice of the Greek playing watchdog, calling it fully groundless.
The native playing operator issued an announcement, categorically denying the practices that the Hellenic Competitors Fee attributed to it. It additional introduced its intention to enchantment the regulatory physique’s resolution instantly earlier than the related courts.
On the time it responded to the huge, €24.6-million tremendous, OPAP highlighted the truth that the choice of Greece’s playing watchdog is related to invoice cost providers and cellular top-up providers provided by its businesses, moderately than its ancillary gaming operations which might be at the moment the core of its gaming enterprise. Other than that, the corporate defined that HCC’s order contradicts one of many authority’s prior choices, in addition to a lot of civil court docket rulings.
OPAP argued that the choice of the Hellenic Competitors Fee was based mostly on a flawed analysis of market situations, inadequate examination of the gathered proof, a poor information assortment course of, in addition to an arbitrary interpretation of regulatory frameworks aimed toward governing its operations.
Other than sharing an intention to take the matter to court docket, OPAP criticised the not too long ago imposed tremendous, saying that it was calculated based mostly on the general turnover of the corporate, moderately than the turnover that was particularly attributed to the markets the place the alleged breaches occurred.