The gambling landscape in Greece has witnessed a lot of fluctuations when it comes to legalisation. At some point, the government has banned online casino gambling, legalized it, then banned it again. It has now legalized it once again.
The government of Greece has been under intense pressure from the EU to loosen its firm grip on laws governing the gambling industry.
With the urgent need to raise revenue, the government has eased some restrictions on gambling, and Greece online casino law is now favourable to gamblers.
Greece is one of the countries that have been hit hard by the recent economic crisis. In fact, the country has already been bailed out twice by the EU.
The government’s decision to go slow on laws and restrictions in gambling has been fuelled by the need to raise money that it can use to clear the national debt.
However, even as the government plays cat and mouse games with casinos operators, gamblers in Greece continue to play interrupted at foreign-based casinos.
The only licensed gaming operator in Greece is run by the state, and it is known as OPAP. This establishment is the only one allowed to control all land-based sports betting houses, as well as lotteries.
Although the situation is complicated, currently, Greece has not put in place any law that prevents players from enjoying real money gambling at overseas-based online sites.
In fact, so widespread is online gambling that some operators offer services in the Greek language. Some top picks to consider as a Greek online casino gambler include:
Casino Room is a favourable place for Greece online casino gamers, and here, a welcome bonus of 100% match up, capped at €1,000 + 100 Free Spins awaits gamers from Greece.
Game providers who have partnered with this site include Aristocrat, Betsoft, ELK, Microgaming, NetEnt, Nextgen Gaming, Play n GO, Red Tiger, Thunderkick, and Yggdrasil.
Greece online gamblers can enjoy at EnergyCasino as much as 200% as part of the Deposit Bonus package. However, this is capped at up €100.
Top developers whose games are present on Energy Casino include 1x2 Gaming, BF Games, Big Time Gaming, Blueprint, Booming Games, Gamomat, Iron Dog, Kalamba, Merkur, Microgaming, NetEnt, Novomatic, PariPlay, Play n GO, Playson, Pragmatic Play, Red Rake, and Wazdan.
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For the games, the casino stocks slots from developers like 1x2 Gaming, Bally, BF Games, Big Time Gaming, Blueprint, Booming Games, Gaomat, Iron Dog, Kalamba, Merkur, Microgaming, NetEnt, Novomatic, PariPlay, Play n GO, Playson, Pragmatic Play, Red Rake, Red Tiger, Thunderkick, and Wazdan.
The above list of online casinos in Greece is not exhaustive, and there are dozens of other sites that accept players from this country.
This may also bring with it a lot of challenges, and players may not be in a position to pick the most reputable casino.
Greek players should consider several points before they can put real money on an online casino. These include:
This is probably the most important point that every online casino gamer should consider.
Safety is paramount, and especially now that online scam sites have mushroomed all over the internet.
An online casino that is properly licensed by an established regulator is a safe place to play. The two most respected regulators in the gambling industry are the Malta Gaming Authority, and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
Also, top-rated online casinos that serve players from Greece offer various forms of security to safeguard the players’ security.
Most use the latest SSL encryption to keep player’s private data safe from falling into the wrong hands.
Another area of concern is the availability of games. Reputable Greece online casinos offer partners a wide variety of games, and in return, players can have the freedom to select what works best for them.
It is interesting to note that developers have gone a notch high with the themes that they give to these games. To serve the Greece market better, many of these providers are creating game titles with Greek themes. A good example is Zeus by WMS and Sparta by Novamatic.
Besides slots, these online casinos offer other types of games like classic table games. Among them are baccarat, craps, roulette, and blackjack.
Live dealer games are also common, and among the top provider present on Greece online casinos are Evolution Gaming and NetEnt.
Keno is another popular type of game in this country, and various keno games are available on these sites.
The best part about these Greece online casinos is the fact that players have the priority to play online games on both their smartphone or on their desktop.
As a real-money gambler, it is important that the casino offers you different options so that you can select from the one that is most convenient for you.
Credit cards remain the most popular form of online payment, and a reputable casino must accept this as a form of payment.
Other options available on reputable Greece casino include prepaid cards as well as e-wallets (Skrill and Neteller). E-wallets are popular with players who want to remain synonymous.
Besides the payment options, a good Greek online casino must offer quick and flawless service, and especially when it comes to the payouts. The process should be as painless as possible.
Just lie many other countries. The Greek government was up in arms about internet gambling. In 2002, the country even put strict measures by introducing a law that banned every type of electronic gaming.
This law did not specify the exact games that were banned, and many industries suffered. This included gambling, video games, and to some extent land-based machines.
In fact, even a simple game like chess in an internet cafe was termed illegal.
All this time OPAP, the government-owned firm that continued to run the show, and they had the monopoly over every type of gambling in Greece, whether lotteries or land-based form of gambling.
In 2008, Greek authorities carried out a high-profile raid that targeted a UK-based sports betting company known as Stanleybet.
It is in this very year that the European Union demanded the removal of its barriers in Greece, to facilitate the free movement of gambling work in the country.
Come 2011, Greece introduced something that was known as the Omnibus Bill. This was some sort of law that legalized land gambling machines, as well as online gambling.
By now, the Greek economy has been battered by the economic crisis in the EU, and the government aimed at raising some money through the issuance of gambling licences.
24 temporary licences were issued, and among the lucky casinos to get such were renowned firms like Paddy Power and Sportingbet.
With the tax legislation, government-backed regulators like OPAP had a better and more favourable working environment. This was seen as some sort of discrimination, and other interested parties such as Betfair protested this.
The disgruntled providers lodged a complaint with the Remote Gaming Association, EU over this obvious discrimination.
This bill did not go far, and in less than one year (2012), the licences that the Greek government had issued were revoked. This is how OPAP became the sole controller of the country’s gambling industry. This is expected to go on until 2030.
This did not go down well with the operators that had already been licensed, another round of complaints was taken before the EU.
After a lot of back and forth, the government of Greece gave in to some of their demands and sold its shares in OPAP to another company called Emma Delta. This happened in May 2013 for a total sum of €652m.
The frequent changes in gambling laws in this country have thrown a lot of gamblers in limbo. There are ‘illegal’ laws in place, but these laws are also under strict observation by the EU, especially due to the huge debt repayments that Greece has.
It is interesting to note that a new party that came to power in 2015 (SYRIZA PARTY) is considering lifting the ban on gambling in Greece. This is aimed at raising up to €500m in tax revenue to boost its always struggling coffers.
The gambling situation in Greece has significantly improved, and the country seems to be warming up to the ideas of legalising full gambling in this state.
Although online gambling has been legal in this country since 2011, the industry has had a lot of issues to deal with.
However, online gambling is allowed in Greece provided that it is offered by legally licensed operators. However, the legalization gives only one firm the monopoly.
There are several proposed changes within the legal framework of gambling in Greece. If these changes are effected, the monopoly that is enjoyed by OPAP will be a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, licensed international gambling sites may continue to offer their services to online gamblers in Greece.
Yes, however, this must only be offered by licensed operators. Some of the big names that operate in this country include Betfair and William Hill among others.
Yes, this is possible on several online casinos, and especially those that concentrate on this jurisdiction. Many online casinos that offer multiple languages are also likely going to offer the Greek language.
Online gambling in Greece is regulated by the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) under the Gambling Act of 2011.
The legal gambling age in Greece is 21, and anyone under this age who engages in gambling is liable for prosecution.
Most casinos here provide players with a variety of games to choose from. They include slots, live dealer games, table games, and other games of skill like baccarat, and blackjack.
Lotteries and sports betting are also popular in this country.