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HGC starts a new online gambling licensing process in Greece

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Greece is on the road to gaining an online gambling market as the Hellenic Gaming Commission invites registrations from legal entities.

Here is some great news for Greek residents! Online gambling is coming to Greece after the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) opened its doors to a new online gaming license application process.

While the Greek government took a broad-strokes approach to all forms of electronic games in 2002, this registration process invites legal entities that wish to offer online betting and conduct other online games of chance to get their ducks in a row.

The announcement brings about a momentous move toward the implementation of the 2011 Gambling Act, where the Greek Government-issued over two dozen interim gambling licenses to several casino gambling operators.

That positive ruling made allowance for operators to offer casino services while a more detailed framework is established.

The Greek government

To date, the Minister of Finance has been shuffling papers that would offer OPAP, who already has the lion’s share of sports betting and lottery industries in the country, the monopoly on most games of chance in the country.

This monopolization got the Greek Government in hot water when Britain’s largest bookmaker, William Hill, brought the case before the European Court of Justice.

The court has urged 27 countries, including France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden to reconsider their gambling policies in order to align with the European Union’s rules on free movement of services.

The Greek government has chosen to take a conservative approach towards online gambling in an effort to protect residents from a potential addiction to playing games of chance for real money.

By offering licensing opportunities to additional vendors, online casinos can present opportunities for other markets looking to offer casino services to residents.

Registration to apply for licences

The HGC invites key personnel, suppliers and service providers to register for the licensing procedure which includes online gaming and comes after Parliament passed the Gaming Regulation policy at the end of last year.

The Ministry of Finance has since submitted draft regulation and amendments for approval by the European Commission.

Further expansion on licensing requirements include:

  • A jackpot limit
  • Maximum stake limit for slot games
  • Minimum age requirement to place bets

Separate licenses will be made available for online sports betting and other online games with a license fee of €3,000,000 and 2,000,000 respectively, and a 35% gross gaming revenue tax.

Each license will be valid for 7 years, with current license holders who have licenses that expire in March 2021 will have to reapply.

Integrated resort and casino

Around the same time of this announcement, the HGC also confirmed the selection of the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) company to develop the first integrated resort and casino (IRC) in Greece.

The winning proposal, submitted in collaboration with GEK TERNA, outlines plans for a luxury hotel, convention centre, retail hub, eateries and entertainment venues in this premier development.

MGE’s role in the Hellinikon Project could boost the economy by creating 7,000 jobs during and after construction through direct and induced employment.

"We recognize the importance of this transformative effort for Greece and are looking forward to leading the charge for one of the most ambitious development projects ever undertaken in the country," said Mario Kontomerkos, President and CEO of Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment.

Positive outlook

With its 9 land-based casinos and positive move towards online gambling licenses, Greek residents have much to look forward to. While the registrations and licensing process run its course and changes are made in the Greek online gambling regulations, residents can make use of over a hundred off-shore online casinos that offer services where citizens have the option of placing bets in both US Dollars or Euros.

This announcement indicates a positive move towards a more inclusive approach where local and international businesses can really thrive while the economy takes the opportunity to bounce back.

Published: October 15, 2020

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Article by Stelly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey there! I am Stelly, and happily, I'm part of CasinoWow's content team. It excites me to be able to write and share with all gambling enthusiasts unbiased reviews and news that contribute to the gambling community and industry. Thankfully, I also have the chance to help you make an informed choice for casino brands and games, as well as provide interesting guides and news.

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