A court in Athens has ruled that Malta and UK-based fixed-odds betting firm StanleyBet International Limited may reopen an outlet in the city that was closed by police following a raid last year.
StanleyBet opened its store in Athens alongside one in the northern city of Thessaloniki in October but police shut both only ten days later after receiving a complaint from the nation’s betting monopoly, OPAP.
One person was arrested during the action and officials announced that they had confiscated machinery and more than $7,000 in cash. According to a police statement, the outlet had ‘conducted illegal betting without a permit from the appropriate authorities aiming to make monetary gain at the expense of the Greek state’.
OPAP stated that it had signed a concession agreement with the Government in 2000 that gave it exclusive rights over all operations in the Greek betting market for 20 years. Under the terms of this deal along with current legislation, the monopoly said that it also had exclusive rights over the operation and management of any new games in Greece on sporting events.
Following the raids, StanleyBet announced that the action by Greek authorities violated European Union law and called on the European Commission to act against Greece.
'The court issued a ruling suspending a previous decision on the closure of StanleyBet's store in Athens,' StanleyBet reported in a press release.
The ruling opens the way for StanleyBet to move ahead with its expansion plans in Greece and the company stated that it would continue to defend its right to offer its sportsbetting services across the European Union.