OPAP And Cyprus Govt At Loggerheads

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Mar 2, 2021

Gambling giant refusing to open its books for audit without confidentiality agreement in place

Cypriot media agencies are reporting an interesting development regarding OPAP who has reportedly refused to open up its books to the Cypriot Treasury for an audit unless a confidentiality agreement is in place.

Through a bilateral agreement signed by Cyprus and Greece, prior to a majority share in OPAP being sold in 2013, OPAP is the only company authorized to run lottery games on the island.

According to the Cyprus Mail, the claim was made before the House Finance Committee who had gathered to discuss a bill that would reform legislation on games of chance.
Cyprus’ Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides revealed Treasury had collected an average of Euro 10 million per annum in revenues from OPAP up until 2013, however, believes that the amount should be closer to Euro 35 million based on OPAP’s reported turnover.

“We do not feel comfortable with the current state of affairs, to grant the right to one provider without an open competition,” Michaelides told the committee. “What is most important is the state’s share. If it is obvious that the public interest is served with a single operator, then we concur.”

Rejecting the signing of a confidentiality agreement, Attorney-general Costas Clerides has reportedly ordered a police investigation into OPAP following its refusal to cooperate.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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