Lately, the Hellenic Competitors Fee (HCC) imposed a large €24.6-million positive on the Greek playing large 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 major 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 major providers, comparable 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 doubtlessly had an influence on service and product availability.
Because of the investigation findings, OPAP was slapped with an order to stop these practices and obtained a warning of a €10,000 positive a day in case it didn’t 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 utterly groundless.
The native playing operator issued a press release, categorically denying the practices that the Hellenic Competitors Fee attributed to it. It additional introduced its intention to attraction the regulatory physique’s choice instantly earlier than the related courts.
On the time it responded to the huge, €24.6-million positive, OPAP highlighted the truth that the choice of Greece’s playing watchdog is related to invoice cost providers and cell top-up providers supplied by its companies, quite than its ancillary gaming operations which are presently the core of its gaming enterprise. Aside from that, the corporate defined that HCC’s order contradicts one of many authority’s prior selections, 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 geared toward governing its operations.
Aside from sharing an intention to take the matter to court docket, OPAP criticised the lately imposed positive, saying that it was calculated based mostly on the general turnover of the corporate, quite than the turnover that was particularly attributed to the markets the place the alleged breaches occurred.