Greece submits online gaming reforms to European Commission

5 April 2019

The Greek Government has submitted a list of reforms for the country’s online gaming market to the European Commission, an institution of the European Union (EU) responsible for proposing legislation and implementing decisions.

Produced in collaboration with the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP), the regulations cover sports betting and table games, but omit random number generated casinos games, which has led to widespread criticism from operators in the country.

In its submission to the Commission, the Greek Government has said the changes are necessary given the speed of technological developments in online gambling. Should the Commission approve the measures, the Greek Minister for Finance would implement the changes.

The Commission expects to publish its decision on the proposed rules on July 2.

The regulations include proposals to separate online game of chance licences into two categories: a permit for betting games, namely sports and non-sports bets, and a licence for other online games. Operators can apply for both types of licence, with the EEEP not limited as to how many permits it can award.

The Greek Ministry of Finance has previously said that a sports betting licence would cost €4m (£3.4m/$4.5m), while an online gaming permit would be priced at €1m. Licences would only be valid for one website and an operator wished to launch another site, they would need to apply for a separate permit.

Operators that want to offer games of chance in Greece would be required to do so from a dot.gr domain, while those not based in the country would need to install a safe server in Greece and connect this to the EEEP's systems.

Gambling operators that are currently active in other EU Member States where online gaming is legal would be granted certain transitional provisions when applying for permits in Greece.

Meanwhile, the proposals set out plans to establish a self-exclusion register so that consumers can remove themselves from gambling. The EEEP would have responsibility for maintaining this list, including the registration and removal of players.

The EEEP is also seeking to update its blacklist of unauthorised operators so that it is in line with the new, proposed system for licensing, organising and running online games of chance.

Submission to the European Commission comes after the EEEP staged a 10-day consultation period on the proposals earlier this year. The regulator had invited comment from the gaming industry and other interested parties for the process, which concluded on January 25.