Greece’s Gambling Landscape — Will Online Gambling Finally Come to Life?

Over the course of its history, Greece has had a love-hate relationship with gambling. At first, this activity was outright banned. However, in 2011, comprehensive Law 4002/2011 was passed, and it has been regulating online gambling since.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the online gambling laws that apply in Greece. We will also focus on their recent amendments and the ways in which these laws affect the gambling landscape of the country. 

Gambling Laws in Greece — How is Online Gambling Regulated? 

Under the provisions of Law 4002/2011, 24 operators offering sports betting and casino games to Greeks without a licence were given temporary licences. What’s more, this law paved the way for the establishment of the Hellenic Gaming Commission, or HGC, which is the Greek regulatory body overseeing gambling and casino operators. 

Years later, in 2019, the Greek Parliament passed a set of economic reforms, which introduced changes to the gambling laws. For example, the operators running on temporary licences were given the option to decide whether they want to apply for a permanent one by the end of March 2020. 

In addition, operators have been allowed to continue offering  RNG casino games, such as slots, which wouldn’t have been the case if the first proposed draft of the bill had been accepted. 

Moreover, the cost of the licence for online betting has been reduced from €5 million to €3 million, while the price tag for an online casino gambling licence has been set at €2 million. 

Even though there have been talks regarding the reduction of taxes, the 35% tax charge on gross gambling revenues still remains. The good news for the operators is that a corporate tax of 20% will now be applied before the GGR taxes. 

There have been other specific updates to the gambling laws that are a part of the Gambling Reform Act. Namely, the play is restricted to persons aged 21 or above. Also, a maximum stake limit of €2 has been imposed, alongside the maximum €5,000 prize limit per gaming session. As a result, jackpot games can now yield a top prize of only €50,000, which players might see as insufficient, especially when progressive jackpot slots are concerned. 

Hellenic Gaming Commission Calls For Licence Applications to Be Submitted  

As of 1 October 2020, the Hellenic Gaming Commission has been accepting applications from gambling entities that want to operate online betting and other online games of chance, such as slots and table casino games. 

We advise all applicants to pay close attention to the ever-changing gambling regulations in Greece. This way, they will be able to learn how they can keep their gambling business legal. 

For example, advertising is strictly limited to the operator’s website. Also, you need to send a warning to every player who reaches 80% of their predetermined limit. Finally, there is a 3-second spin minimum for every slot game. 

What Does the Future Hold for Greece’s Online Gambling? 

The majority of operators already present on Greece’s gambling market has welcomed the changes in the legislation. The licences are now issued for a 7-year period, and the decrease in the licence cost is significant, which will open the market to those operators who weren’t able to foot the bill before. 

However, there are some downsides to the new online gambling laws in Greece. The GGR tax is pretty high, and the limitations that apply to the advertising, stakes, and payouts are bound to hinder the progress. However, the market is expected to develop further and put a stop to unlicensed casinos and betting sites, thus bringing more safety and security to players. 

Apr 5, 2021