New Plan to Save Greece? OPAP to Tap GTECH for Online Betting
Mar 28, 2014
The beleaguered gambling monopoly will hire GTECH to expand its online betting offering in advance of the 2014 World Cup.
The Greek betting monopoly OPAP has struck a deal with iGaming firm GTECH to provide online betting services its customers. OPAP officials awarded the contract to GTECH after vetting four other firms. It will help their much-needed expansion into the online betting market, which has become increasingly important in anticipation for the 2014 Football World Cup.
GTECH is an industry leader in developing and providing iGaming software. Their offering includes everything from online blackjack and slots to lotteries and sportsbetting. It provides games for online casinos and betting sites across Europe and North America.
OPAP still under fire
The formerly state-owned company was privatized last year but still enjoys a monopoly status that has drawn the ire of much of the gambling industry. Protection from competitors prevented the firm from modernizing; it just recently entered the online market and does not yet offer mobile sports betting.
OPAP’s privileged position has come from the Greek government refusing to grant betting licenses to any other firms. Several international sportsbooks operated in Greece until it announced a new licensing system last year, with OPAP the only firm able to receive a license. OPAP’s monopoly is to last until 2020.
This policy has come under fire from angry bookmakers and the European Commission (EC), but so far the EC has been unwilling to take Greece to task over it.