Now, EEER pays considerable attention to responsible gambling and warns that online establishments should remind their clients of the existence of such a policy and provide an opportunity to independently adjust the number of bets. The commission also reminds operators of the possibility of eliminating players if necessary. The operation of casinos, both land-based and online, is regulated by relevant law. Only 24 operators comply with the requirements of this law.
On the official website of the gambling commission, a direct parallel is drawn between addiction and responsible gambling, which is defined as the result of the collective efforts of players, competent authorities and the operators of online casino websites. The emphasis is on minors and socially vulnerable groups.
In 2018, the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness and Water Transport of Greece proposed the first gambling reform project aimed at increasing the costs for owners of online casinos with free slot machine games and slots for real money. The cost of a permanent permit amounted to 3 million EUR, while the official license for online casinos and poker reached 2 million EUR.
Taxes have also increased. Thus, the regulation requires online gambling platforms to pay 35% of gross income as a tax. Some experts believe that a tax increase was required in order to prevent international competitors from entering the local market. Also, a month earlier, in September, it became known that online games with Random Number Generator (like Reel Thunder online slot) were excluded from the proposed licensing procedure. In this regard, operators may dispute the exclusion of RNG games from casinos.
Revenues as evidence of gambling niche prosperity
However, even considering the conditions for a responsible approach of the government to gaming, the gambling sector brought high revenues to the Greek budget. In 2018, 2.9 billion EUR were paid to the state treasury. For the period 2015-2018, the OAR gaming company transferred taxes to the budget in the amount of 1.8 billion EUR. The online gaming sector paid 350 million EUR over the same period.
Casino resorts that currently operate in Greece
The largest gaming institutions in Greece with the best service are:
Regency Casino Thessaloniki – This casino is in the fairly large city of Thessaloniki. All gambling houses located here are part of the same network;
Kerkira – a casino located in the hotel, is the oldest institution. The main difference between this gambling house and others is its high stakes (casino mostly visited by highrollers). This casino has first introduced roulette to the players of Greece;
Casino Rodos – the main feature of the institution is a strict dress code (tuxedos and closed dresses);
Syros – located on the island of Syros. Gambling house situated in the resort town of Ermoupolis, which is one of the advantages of this institution. Guests are offered 30 tables and 200 slot machines, betting limits range from 30 cents to 10 EUR.
Meanwhile, US company Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, a potential investor in the famous Hellinikon project, showed the idea of building in Athens a futuristic casino with the name of Inspire Athens. The stylistics of the architecture of the main building resembles the ancient Acropolis of Athens.