Not too long ago, the Hellenic Competitors Fee (HCC) imposed an enormous €24.6-million fantastic 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 primarily based 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” below 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, resembling cash remittance, invoice cost, and distribution of third-party merchandise had 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 had 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 obtained a warning of a €10,000 fantastic a day in case it didn’t adjust to the Hellenic Competitors Fee’s order.
OPAP Disagrees with the Hellenic Competitors Fee’s Resolution
OPAP expressed a powerful disagreement with the choice of the Greek playing watchdog, calling it utterly 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 attraction the regulatory physique’s choice instantly earlier than the related courts.
On the time it responded to the large, €24.6-million fantastic, OPAP highlighted the truth that the choice of Greece’s playing watchdog is related to invoice cost providers and cell top-up providers provided by its companies, reasonably than its ancillary gaming operations which can be 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 courtroom rulings.
OPAP argued that the choice of the Hellenic Competitors Fee was primarily based on a flawed analysis of market circumstances, inadequate examination of the gathered proof, a poor knowledge assortment course of, in addition to an arbitrary interpretation of regulatory frameworks aimed toward governing its operations.
Aside from sharing an intention to take the matter to courtroom, OPAP criticised the not too long ago imposed fantastic, saying that it was calculated primarily based on the general turnover of the corporate, reasonably than the turnover that was particularly attributed to the markets the place the alleged breaches occurred.