Greek lottery and gaming operator OPAP has set out plans to appeal a decision by the Greek Council of State to revoke its online sports betting licence.
The Greek Council of State, the country’s supreme administrative court, upheld Austrian operator Goalbet’s appeal of the Hellenic Gaming Commission’s (EEEP) decision to award OPAP an online betting licence for its Pame Stoixima brand.
The decision was made in July, but only came to light after reports in the Greek media during the past week.
OPAP has hit out at the ruling, saying it is now in the process of “evaluating how to pursue the protection of its interests by all legal means”.
The operator said the decision contrasted all previous actions by the Greek state, including the information provided to investors in the process to sell off the country's stake in OPAP. At the time, prospective investors were told that it was licensed to offer fixed-odds betting until 2020.
“Despite the fact that the current contribution of online betting is not material and in any case below 1% of OPAP Group’s total revenue, OPAP, following this decision, is already in contact with competent bodies including the EEEP for all the appropriate actions to be taken,” it said.
Upon announcing its decision, the court said that if OPAP wishes to re-enter the online sports betting market, it must start again following the country’s licensing conditions.
OPAP’s sports betting revenue comes predominantly through its retail operation. For the six months through to 30 June 2019, sports betting revenue was down 5.2% at €191.9m (£169.8m/$211.1m), with Pame Stoixima's contribution described as flat year-on-year, and not broken out.
Earlier this week the operator told iGamingBusiness.com that the bulk of its online activities were carried out through Stoiximan Group, in which it holds a controlling interest.