Sports bettingand gambling is totally legal in Greece. However, the country has a long, notorious historyof state monopoly when it comes to gambling regulation. The Hellenic Gaming Commissionis the country’s gaming regulator, and it has managed, over the years, to blunt the edges of some former rigid measures, making them easier to navigate. Fast-forward to 2021, the country came full circle and re-regulated the gambling market. This was one of the milestones in the history of Greek gambling, which you can read further about in the final section below. For the benefit of operators and bettors alike, we have also boiled down the most relevant legalities to simple language. To all the punters out there, before feasting your eyes on that list of Greek no deposit casino bonuses, you might want to read through the ins and outs of what’s permitted in this jurisdiction.
<H2> What is Legal in Greece and What Isn’t? </H2>
The main legislative act that governs gaming in Greece is the Law 4002/2011. The following are some legalities, made simple:
- Greece betting sites and bookmakers are legal
- Likewise, both land-based casinos and online casinos are considered legal
- The gambling legal age in Greece is 23
- To offer gambling services, a license by the Hellenic Gaming Commission is required
- The Commission issues two types of licenses for online gambling: Type A (for online betting) and Type B (for online casinogames)
- Each license is valid for 7 years
- Licensed operators are required to have all their headquarters in Greece
- Greek online operators should have their servers based in Greece and must use a .gr domain
- Online licensees must also store 10 years’ worth of data
- The maximum bet on games is limited to €2
- Gambling operators that fail comply with Greek law will have their Internet access suspended by Greek Internet providers, and their bank transactions terminated accordingly
- Operators on the Greek authorities’ blacklist cannot apply for a license for a period of up to 12 months.
To navigate the gambling world safely, you must be equipped with the right information. Here are some pointers to help any newbie tread safely in this exciting and delicate territory.
No matter how eager you are on placing that bet, verify beforehand whether the specific casino is licensed by a reputable agency. Examples of reputable bodies include: United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, and Curacao eGaming. To learn about a casino’s license, head to the bottom of the site where all the necessary information should be provided. Don’t risk playing on unlicensed sites.
SSL encryption is what makes a casino page secure. To verify whether a casino page is encrypted thus, simply look at the left side of your browser’s address bar; if you see a green lock icon, that page is SSL-encrypted, which essentially means that the information you send to the server (including any financial data) is adequately protected.
Different forums and relevant sites display user reviews and comments which you can peruse to learn more about a particular bookmaker. It might also be helpful to observe a casino’s level of engagement with the public, namely by checking out whether its customer representatives respond to users’ comments and address any issued raised.
It is always recommended to use intermediaries such as PayPal when making transfers. With bank transfers you can incur unnecessary charges and delays, whereas with intermediaries the process is much cheaper and quicker.
Greek casinos offer all popular casino games, including Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, and other games approved by the Hellenic Gaming Commission.
Most Greece gambling sites are compatible with mobile devices, so you can enjoy games using any platform you prefer.
The dress code at a land-based casino is smart-casual, but keep in mind that you won’t be allowed in if you are less than 23 years old!
These are some important milestones that shaped the history of gambling legislation in Greece:
- 2002: to combat organized crime, the Greek government banned all forms of online gambling
- 2011: following the economic crises, the government issued temporary licenses to 24 online gambling enterprises, repealing the 2002 ban
- 2019: a new bill saw Greece ending the ‘transition status’ granted to these 24 casinos, allowing them to apply for full licenses until March 2020
- September 2020: the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) invited prospective online gambling operators to apply for a license in accordance with their new regulations
- October 2020: to obtain an online gambling license, the HGC obliged applicants to submit a “letter of guarantee”
- January 2021: to ease the process of identifying supplier and affiliate suitability, applicants were allowed to proceed with an initial application, as long as they followed it up with the necessary physical documentation in due course.