William Hill has decided to withdraw from the Greek market.
The bookie’s exit comes before the December 5 deadline for the withdrawal of illegal gambling operators. The Greek Gambling Commission has threatened legal consequences, such as blacklisting, for those operating after the deadline.
Though William Hill was one of the 24 operators potentially seeking a gaming license, the Greek Government decided to provide exclusive rights to OPAP to operate 13 games of chance until 2030. The business relationship between the Greek Government and OPAP has led to legal complexities with regards to EU law. As a result, operators have left the market.
Betfair withdrew from Greece last week after citing legal issues stemming from the state-supported monopoly OPAP. William Hill has listed similar reasons for its withdrawal from the market.
“William Hill believes that there are significant issues with the legality and enforceability of these proposals; however, until greater clarity is received, it has taken the decision to withdraw from this market,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The withdrawal of major gaming operators in Europe has shed light on the controversial situation in Greece. The Remote Gambling Association, which characterized the proposals as “unfair” and “unworkable,” has lodged an injunction in Greek courts to prevent financial and criminal consequences for operators that remain in the nation.