|In Greece, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis has appointed Costas Zacharopoulos as the nation’s new watchdog for games of chance including the State-run OPAP gambling monopoly along with casinos, horseracing and lotteries.|
The former Chief Executive Officer for Tourism Development Company, Zacharopoulos will serve as the head of the newly established National Regulating Commission for Games of Chance. The appointment follows a meeting held earlier this month between Alogoskoufis and the European Union’s Internal Market and Services Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, and reflects Greece’s worries that it could lose its monopoly, which has a contract to operate until 2020, after being taken to the European Court of Justice.
According to newspaper Ekathimerini, private firms have been pushing hard to gain a foothold in the Greek market for some time and industry observers expect the Government to relent sooner or later. British gaming company StanleyBet International has been one of the major players in this drama and is attempting to start operations in the southern European nation.