|Bookmaker and online casino giant William Hill announced that it has requested a license to open betting shops in Greece, challenging the stronghold over the market established by the country’s official betting organisation, OPAP.|
If the license is not granted by the Greek government, as some expect will happen, the firm is prepared to fight it out in the in European courts in an attempt to put a dent in OPAP's monopoly.
William Hill chief executive David Harding said, ‘We believe the recent European cases mean that what is happening is in breach of EU law. If it is rejected we will go to the courts to argue our case and that could involve going to the European Court of Justice.’
The company may receive the EU’s support to enter the market after March’s European Court of Justice (EJC) ruling barring Italy from using criminal law to shut out foreign bookmakers in a case presented by Stanley Leisure.
However, OPAP has already informed Greek newspapers that it expects William Hill's application to be rejected due to its monopoly agreement.