According to Greek laws, gamblers wishing to engage in any form of gambling activity must do so inside a casino only. To this point, gambling or betting outside a casino establishment is prohibited. Offenders are punishable by law.
The Greek Law 4002/2011 established the country’s independent administrative authority. The authority handles supervising, monitoring, controlling Greece’s gambling activities. The Hellenic Gaming Commission is the name of the regulator and it’s also tasked with issuing licenses to potential operators.
Speaking of operators, the Gambling Act of 2011 allowed foreign companies to apply for licenses in Greece. Nevertheless, few companies heeded the call. The biggest reason for this is the absence of clear guidelines and procedures on licensing matters. Furthermore, the Greek Government slapped operators with a 30% tax.
Operators moved to the European Court of Justice where they got a favorable ruling. The Greece Government is still considering how to adjust the rules. Still, on those rules, operators are required to have their offices in the country to apply for a license.
Things have changed for the better in 2020. We'll cover that in more detail below.
The Main Focus of Hellenic Gaming Commission
The Hellenic Gaming Commission was established to supervise, monitor, and control the country’s gambling activities. This is a whole load of responsibility and it includes ensuring the gambling operators adhere to various rules and regulations.
One of these regulations is providing punters with ways they can seek help on matters touching on gambling addiction. The Gaming Commission understands that excessive engagement in gambling activities can result in gambling addiction. As a result, the regulator has set out to enforce what it calls the “Responsible Gaming Principle.” This is in a bid to mitigate any negative effects arising from gaming abuse. It’s illegal for persons under 21 to engage in any form of gambling.
This regulation not only affects operators who are required to offer protection of vulnerable groups. It also affects internet service providers (ISPs) and advertisers among others. For the latter, this includes restraint and moderation in commercial communication.
In addition to responsible gambling, the regulator also requires operators to offer fair and straightforward gaming. This is under the country’s laws and HGC’s regulations.
Security at Online Casinos Licensed by Hellenic Gaming Commission
The government of Greece outlawed online casino activities through Law 3037/2002. This was in 2002. Furthermore, according to Greek laws, players wishing to gamble can only do so inside casinos. What these laws meant was that the HGC didn't issue licenses to online casinos.
However, that changed in July 2020 after a Ministrial decision of the Greek Minister of Finance. By October 2020, the HGC opened a call for interested parties to submit applications for licensing. The operators that got temporary licenses in 2011 also had to reapply. There are two licenses a company can get - one for online betting and one for online games of chance. The first license costs €3 million, while the latter is €2 million. Both are valid for seven years and come alongside a gross gaming revenue tax of 35%.
Legal gambling age in Greek land-based and online casinos remains 21. Online gambling operators also must respect a range of strict resrtictions. For instance, there's a max bet of €2 limit as well as prize limits on games and jackpots of respective €5,000 and €50,000.