Greece

Top Online Casinos for Greece

The Greek government’s active work resulted in legalizing almost all forms of land-based and interactive gambling formats except for bet exchanges.
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Greece is located in south-east Europe. It borders Turkey to the east, the Aegean Sea to the south-east, the Ionian sea to the west, Albania to the north-east, Macedonia to the north and Bulgaria to the north-east.

Overview

Greece Online Gambling Restrictions

The main characteristic for the online gambling industry in Greece is the huge fight that went on for over a decade between Greece and the European Union.

Back in 2002, a law was passed...

... to make all forms of electronic gaming illegal, and this law was so broad (and useless) that it actually made playing video gaming consoles like Playstation or Nintendo illegal. Almost a decade later, the law was corrected to be more practical, and the government initiated legislation that would regulate online gambling with licenses.

They quickly abandoned this idea in favor for a state monopoly, and this got them in trouble with the European Union.

 In response to being chided by the EU, Greece responded by stating that...

... all forms of online gambling were highly addictive and should be illegal while simultaneously expanding the scope of their state-run monopoly. The EU was not impressed, and their pressure eventually led to the beginning of a more reasonable licensing process in early 2015.

Since then, the country has been working hard and fast on improving both their land-based and interactive gambling industry segments, with most efforts directed towards finalizing the proper legislation.

Thus, throughout 2016, legislators were largely preoccupied with the issue of taxing operators properly. While the existing rates were rather high, a proposal made mid-2016 increased GGR taxes to 35%, which has remained the current policy for all interactive operators, and their lottery monopoly – OPAP. Land-based establishment charges range from 30% to 37% tax on turnover.

Speaking of the monopoly...

... OPAP has established itself as the sole licensed operator for lottery, sports betting, horserace betting and VLTs. Bear in mind that betting exchanges are completely banned as illegal from the country’s territory.

Nevertheless, the existing licensed services have brought massive profits to the sole operator, which is why the government sought to take back some of the control they handed out to OPAP.

Legislation imposed by the second half of 2017...

... specifically reduced the number of VLT machines, but at the same time made changes in favour of operators. Lower tax rates and more licenses to land-based gambling establishments were proposed and laid out, with different aspects of the process being still underway.

With integrated casino resorts interested in opening establishments across Crete, Mykonos and Santorini, the government noted significant progress in this regard. Turning to the interactive sector, consequently, legislators proposed a set of specifications for their proper functioning. The Ministry of Finance contributed greatly to this effect, as in the area of licensing and regulating the interactive industry, so as to land-based casinos, hotels and resorts.

Licensing

Greece Gambling Licensing

The first online gambling licensed were interim licensed given before the government monopoly took over. The government set up interim licenses with major companies like Betfair and William Hill before turning their back on these companies and backing their own state-ran monopoly. Subsequently, licenses were offered to the original interim licensees to try to get their online gambling regulation back up and running to generate funds for their massive debt.

While the financial stability of the country is slowly remedying, licensing procedures are actively discussed and restructured to optimization.

Thus, the latest proposals for interactive gambling licenses were made...

...in September 2018 by the Ministry of Finance; these lay out a €4 million fee for single license applications, and €5 million for two verticals. Boosting operators across more than one gambling vertical is expected to bring in additional budget revenue, and greater licensed gambling options for the player base. The latter will intuitively result in greater player satisfaction, while the former is additionally insured by a withholding tax rates – 15% for winnings from €100-€500 and 20% for winnings above €500.

Blacklisted operators are constantly added to the list of names that will be directly blocked by the country’s ISPs, with over 2000+ offshore unlicensed domains so far. Following these recent resolutions, blacklisted operators were even prohibited from getting a license.

Player Protections

Player protection in Greece was rather shaky and unstable, mostly due to the similar state of the entire industry just a few years back. It was mostly due to the uncertain and varying standards for license issuance which resulted in a number of operators getting their authorizations without much to back them up.

Nowadays, players are definitely not better off playing with unlicensed offshore operators, that is, if they can even access them following the implementation of the blacklist. The Greek player base is able to turn to the dedicated regulatory body, the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) and get the proper support regarding all issues or inquiries.

Greece is located in south-east Europe. It borders Turkey to the east, the Aegean Sea to the south-east, the Ionian sea to the west, Albania to the north-east, Macedonia to the north and Bulgaria to the north-east. Overview The main characteristic for the online gambling industry in Greece is the huge fight that went on for over a decade between Greece and the European Union . Back in 2002, a law was passed... ... to make all forms of electronic gaming illegal, and this law was so broad (and...
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