• Written by Anna Melnikova

In 2002, the Greek state completely banned virtual gambling. To 2011 the authorities thawed out and started issuing temporary licenses for gambling operators. For a decade, the Gambling Commission monitored the market where ran the state monopoly, and only recently made a decision to issue permanent licenses to the first companies. A list of the new online slots casino here.

The path from prohibitions to state monopoly

The original ban on online gambling was viewed by the Greek authorities as the simplest and most effective method of fighting the gambling mafia. But it is executed was somewhat awkward (for example, even virtual chess was banned, that caused concern of the European Commission).

But the need forced Greece to abolish the prohibitive law and begin to issue temporary licenses. This led to the exodus of large independent players and the formation of the state monopoly on gambling OPAP, which was responsible for both the lottery and bookmaker activity. While the monopolists were earning so much for the budget the necessary funds, many plaintiffs-bookmakers appeared in Greece and beyond, who complained about dishonest practices in the EU. The latter declared a monopoly illegal, however, the Greek court acquitted OPAP, stating that it was a necessary measure to combat criminal activity.

From a state monopoly to a new format regulation

As a result, the monopoly ruined itself - the revenue for 2013-2016 brought € 60 thousand taxes, so the government decided to develop new regulations gambling.

Only four years later, the Gambling Commission offered operators a model a permanent license similar to the one in the UK. Including some norms were copied: low maximum bet (€ 2), the spin must last at least 3 seconds, and the jackpot limit is € 50 thousand. The advertising policy was also strictly standardized, promotional materials were registered exclusively by the state regulator with a tax of € 1 thousand.

The licenses themselves have been in development since 2019, but the release has been continually delayed.

In the final version, the conditions for obtaining a license look like this:

license fee: € 3 million for online betting, € 2 million for other online games;

registration fee: € 10 thousand;

required bank guarantee: € 100 thousand;

required minimum capital: € 200 thousand;

license validity period: 7 years.

After a series of perturbations, the commission still issued the first 15 licenses for gambling business.

The Greek Rise of the Gambling Business

With the introduction of temporary licenses, the sector began to grow rapidly. In 2018, the online direction grew to € 391 million, which is 37% more than in 2017. This contributed to several factors at once, such as the holding of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the removal of banking restrictions. The budget received € 137 million in tax deductions. Growth continued until the second quarter of 2020, when the world was faced with pandemic coronavirus.

But even after that, the gambling business continued to survive at the expense of unsporting

disciplines in online gambling. According to the indicators of the Gambling Commission,

the market in 2020 grew to € 540 million from € 437 million in 2019.

Taking into account 35% of income tax, it is beneficial for the government to create an accompanying

prosperous gambling environment.

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