Greece Online Gambling Under EU MicroscopePublished August 3, 2011 by OCR Editor
The state monopoly on online gambling is a key to Greek bailout obligations.
The question of Greece's online gambling state monopoly has hit center stage as the country works on meeting its debt obligations to the European Union and IMF.
More on online gambling in Greece.Gov't reluctant to let go
One of the requirements expected of Greece under the EU and IMF's conditions was to sell the state's 34% stake in its gambling monopoly OPAP, but this now seems unlikely to happen after comments from Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos this week.
Venizelos said the government may not sell all of its 34% stake in OPAP by the end of 2011, arguing that it had never pledged to do so and could instead put gambling revenues toward reducing the country's enormous public debt.Key asset
OPAP, Europe's largest betting company, was one of the key assets that appeared on the list of companies Greece was supposed to privatize in 2011, as part of its drive to raise 50 billion euros from privatization of state companies by 2015.
Now, instead of selling OPAP, the government will propose a draft gaming law to strengthen it, Venizelos said, adding that its value "is not only its shared by also the value of exercising its management.