Greece - the birthplace of democracy and the Olympic Games, has faced financial problems during the economic downturn in recent years. Therefore, Greece has received two bailout packages from the EU, and the government is making major reforms to the way it is governed by online gambling in the country.
Casinos and online gambling in Greece have become legal by Law 4002/2011. However, gambling in Greece is only allowed in properly licensed casino spaces and no public betting is allowed. For open betting organizations, this practice will be criminalized based on Law 3037/2002 enacted in 2002. As a rule, all types of electric games, Electromechanical and electronic supply in both public and private locations on Greek territory are prohibited.
In 2011, transition licensing services have been replaced by a new online gambling law that is currently being evaluated by the European Commission in Greece. However, the new Greek licenses will be the most expensive in Europe, and it is not clear whether any casino will take advantage of the opportunity to look for a license.
Most forms of gambling and online gambling are exclusive by OPAP A.E. (Greek Organization of Football Prognostics S.A), which state-owned, is now privatized. So far, lottery and sports betting in Greece are still under the supervision of OPAP A.E.
The rules for the Greek betting industry still have many hurdles for the nine land-based casinos in this Balkans country. Although the government lowered the gambling tax at the end of 2018 (two years earlier than expected), and changed the previous bet tax rate of 35% to 25%, but the new licensing requirements made it difficult for properties.
Previously, casinos in Greece had to pay a fee per square meter to allocate for smoking areas. However, in October 2019, a smoking ban was enacted and affected entertainment at casino venues that are already subject to competition from online casino fish. This has resulted in a more than a 30% drop in casino revenue in the last few months of the year.
According to the new rules, published in the Greek Official Gazette, Online random number generator (RNG) games such as slot machines will have a maximum stake limit of € 2, and 3 seconds per rotation.
The initial gambling reform bills in Greece were hoping to get rid of these regulations. However, the clause was removed during the session of the law passed by the Greek Parliament in October 2019 and submitted to the European Commission in January after operators threatened to sue. Instead, the limit for € 2 spins and a maximum prize of € 5,000 per session has been introduced.
In addition, advertisements will be banned except on the licensed gambling website. Marketing communications services are not permitted to target minors, including minor characters appearing on programs or on websites presenting gambling as an activity to mark a transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Ads must mention the EEEP and legal age for gambling. In addition, advertisements are not permitted to display positive images of winnings, cannot unjustly declare chances of winning, or claim that skill will determine the outcome of the game.
At online casinos, players have to choose deposits, losses, and time limits. The casinos must send an alert to their customers when they exceed the 80% limit.
After the Gambling Act of 2011, foreign operators were licensed. However, not many gambling entertainment companies are willing to open casino locations in Greece as the process of licensing is not clear here, and foreign operators have to pay a 30% tax.
With the controversial tax rates, a number of foreign companies sued the Greek government. The European Union made a detrimental decision for Greece in 2013, and the Government must consider how to change these betting tax rules.
The variety of payment methods is a very important factor for bettors as it offers the flexibility of withdrawing or depositing bets. Players at casinos in Greece all have access to secure and widely available methods that are widely accepted around the world. In Greece, online casinos boast a decent range of banking options, including:
Since Greece is part of the EU, most players always choose EURO as their preferred currency, making them eligible to use any payment method with ease and often without any currency conversion period.