Gambling business in Greece
Greece is the main island state in Southern Europe, where almost all types of gambling are legal. The first gambling establishments appeared in the country in the early 20th century. However, the rapid development of the gaming industry began relatively recently - in the 2000s. Due to the difficult economic situation, the government decided to expand this industry in the country. This should increase the flow of tourists and ensure a visit to Greece throughout the year. Anyone over the age of 21 can play in both land and online casinos.
The activities of all institutions that offer entertainment are regulated by the Gambling Supervision and Control Commission (EEEP). The basic terms and conditions of providing services in the field of gambling are regulated by Law 4002/2011. Today, there are 9 legal casinos operating in the Greek state. All of them are located in the largest hotels or resort areas and are more focused on foreign guests. The largest casino - Regency Casino Mont Parnes, is located in the city of Aharna. According to statistics, in 2015, there were almost 3 million players from casinos in Greece.
The country also operates the largest operator of lottery circles and lotteries, OPAP SA. Until 2013, 33% of its shares were owned by the state. Then they were transferred to EMMA DELTA HELLENIC HOLDINGS LTD. OPAP SA is licensed to install and operate 35,000 gaming machines for offline games (through stores) The license expires in 2030 only.
Online gambling will be allowed in Greece from 2011. However, at this stage, this market segment is completely monopolized by the betting company OPAP SA. Although the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that this monopoly is illegal, the company continues to operate in the market. According to 2017 data, the entire gambling business in Greece is undergoing a radical change. It is expected that new gambling rules will be introduced soon, which will create equal conditions for all operators in the country. In January 2016, the government announced that it would open the market to foreign operators and start issuing online toy licenses. Many overseas sites are already accepting players from Greece. At the same time, there are no cases of harassment of players or blocking of sites.
Greek gambling laws
The gaming industry in Greece is regulated by Law 4002/2011. The provisions of this law set out the basic rules and conditions that must be observed when carrying out activities related to the organization and conduct of gambling.
According to the law, the following types of games are allowed in the country:
Lotteries (scratch cards, national lottery and popular lottery). OPAP SA has the exclusive right to conduct and manage number lottery games (Lotto, Proto, Joker, Extra 5, Super 3 and Movie) and sports betting.
Under the updated legislation, gambling is only allowed in official gambling establishments. Players who place bets at other establishments face criminal penalties. All residents of Greece who wish to participate in gambling activities must obtain a personal "player card". Persons under the age of 21 are not allowed to visit gambling establishments.
According to Law 4002/2011, gambling is understood as entertainment that meets the following conditions:
Regulators of the gaming industry
The Gambling Supervision and Control Commission (EEEP) is an independent administrative body responsible for issuing licenses and certificates to gambling operators. As well as in E.E.E.P. duties. Includes supervision, monitoring and control over the conduct of such games in Greece. The Greek Gambling Commission consists of 9 members appointed by the Ministry of Finance. The term of office of the commission members is 4 years. It can only be updated once. Every two years the composition of the E.E.E.P Commission, except for the President, is renewed by half. This is necessary for the body to continue functioning.
Terms of obtaining a license in gambling jurisdiction
All operators applying for a gambling license must submit an application to the Gambling Supervision and Control Commission (EEEP). This program must contain information about the applicant and the number of certified slot machines that perform operations in accordance with the decision of the Gambling Commission No. 130/2, 11/18/14 "On the establishment of control over the technical characteristics of slot machines". "
By law, gambling operators can be legal entities that are taxed in accordance with the general provisions of Law 2238/1944 (Article 151). Non-commercial legal entities do not have the right to license electronic technical and entertainment games.
Conditions for obtaining a license for an individual:
Upon receipt of the applicant's license, he / she is obliged to immediately provide the following information to the Gambling Commission:
About moving slot machines between stores or their places of storage, repair. All this information is provided electronically through the management and control system of the electronic gaming machine certification operating system. It is necessary to pay an annual fee in advance for the use of the electronic slot machines included in the license in order to issue a license or renew its validity. The operator must pay an annual license fee. If he fails to pay the fee, then the license will not be issued or renewed.
Slot machine certification
Slot machines installed in all special rooms must be certified by the E.E.E.P.
Each slot machine requires a separate certificate. Certification is granted to the manufacturer, importer, and in some cases to the rightful owners of the apparatus in accordance with the provisions of the E.E.E.P decision. No111 / 2 / 18.11.2014. (B 3225).
Computers are considered and considered as slot machines if they have software programs installed, certified games and they are used in the professional activities of the gaming business.
To get a certificate, a slot machine must have a CE mark (or equivalent). To obtain a certificate, you must submit an application to the EEEP. In this case, it is also necessary to pay a state fee for the application review (50 euros per slot machine). You also have to pay a one-time fee for issuing the certificate (20 euros per device).
Each certified gaming machine, ready to go, can only be equipped with certified games. Any changes to the installed certified gaming machine must be notified to the E.E.E.P.
Certified slot machines have the right to carry out legal transactions, which indicate:
The website, which regulates certified games installed in slot machines, also provides authorization codes for such games and their age restrictions.
In order to withdraw a certified slot machine from the market, you must first notify the Greek Gambling Commission. This in turn removes this unit from the corresponding registry.
Certificate of buildings for the installation of slot machines
For the installation of gaming machines in a particular room, it is necessary to obtain a certificate from the EEEP, which is issued at the request of the operator, Decision No. 130/2 of 18/11/2014 (B 3225).
The area of the room in which the slot machine is planned to be installed must comply with the legal requirements. In exceptional cases, slot machines may be located in a building where no commercial gambling activities are conducted.
The building in which slot machines are allowed to be placed is divided into categories:
The General Manager is assigned to each room that has received the certificate. He, together with the operator, ensures that the given building complies with the laws and regulations.
To get a toy building certificate, you have to pay a state fee for the application review, in the amount of 50 euros per building. You also need to pay an annual fee of 80 euros per room. Payment of the fee must be made no later than one year from the date of initial payment. Late payment means cancellation of certification.
From January 2017, Greek online casino operators pay a tax of 35% on their profits from the state budget. The bill was approved by the government in line with EU requirements. 24 Greek licensed international online operator is obliged to follow the updated taxation system.
Online gambling in Greece
Online games have been banned in Greece for some time. However, since 2011, it has become legal again. The body responsible for regulating this industry is the azartuli Games Supervision and Control Commission (E.E.E.P.). The activities of virtual gaming establishments are regulated by Law 4002/2011. According to this law, every Greek operator that provides its services via the Internet must have its own website. Site name must end in .gr.
Following the legalization of online gaming in 2011, the state issued 24 temporary licenses to various operators. However, a year later, the experiment was stopped and a new licensing system was developed. Currently, only the Greek company OPAP, which is valid until 2030, has a monopoly on the provision of services in the field of lotteries and online casinos.
Legislation in the field of gaming licensing, including those related to online gaming, is changing significantly. Soon, licenses will be issued to foreign operators of virtual casinos as well. According to preliminary data, the estimated cost of a license for online casino operators will be around 3,000,000 euros. Moreover, its validity will be 5 years. The minimum tax rate for such operators will be EUR 1 000 000.
Thus, it is expected that in the near future new online gaming operators will be able to enter the Greek market. But even today, many foreign online casino sites accept Greek citizens without any problems. It offers players the English or Greek interface of 141 online casinos. Bets on such virtual establishments are accepted in euros or US dollars.
Best Legal Online Casinos in Greece:
The most popular slots in Greece
Slot machines are very popular among Greek players. However, there is no data on specific slots that players particularly prefer. By far the most experienced players are familiar with these legendary slot machines:
These devices are made by leading manufacturers: Greentube, Aristocrat, IGT, WMS.
Creators of Greek gaming software
Greece can be proud of its achievements in the field of game development. The Greek company Intralot is recognized as a leading provider of integrated gaming systems, as well as transaction processing systems, the latest gaming content and related services.
Intralot is now the second largest lottery operator in the world. The company has branches in 75 countries around the world and has successful lottery projects in 40 countries. It is known that Intralot supplies Russia with all the necessary equipment, software and technologies for the state lottery.
Prospects for the development of the gambling business in Greece
The Greek gambling business is now going through difficult times. Today, the government of the country is actively involved in the development of this industry, as it intends to increase revenues in the state budget in this way. The government is developing new gambling rules and an updated licensing system for gaming operators. Soon, the state monopoly will share the OPAP gaming market with other participants, including foreigners.
New operators will be required to obtain a special license. At the same time, each gaming machine installed and the game installed on it, as well as the rooms where the machines are located, must obtain the appropriate certificate from the E.E.E.P. The government has developed and already approved a new taxation system that also aims to increase revenues from the gaming industry. From January 2017, all online operators operating in Greece will have to pay a tax to the state budget, with 35% of the total profit.