February 12, 2010

Gambling monopoly in Greece to be broken by European Commission

There are a few nations that realized the overall benefits that can be reaped for the immense gambling industry, both on and off line. Greece is one such nation and has been trying to protect its carefully constructed gambling industry from foreign sources for a while now.

Greek gambling law is pretty basic and approves gambling in many forms, but only in casinos. There are about 20 casinos in Greece, most of which are located on some of the islands which serve as popular tourist destinations. In a nutshell, the gambling industry in Greece is intended more for visitors as a source of revenue from outside the country.

Lotteries and sportsbetting in Greece are strictly controlled by the company OPAP, one-third of which is owned by the government. They have an outstanding monopoly that has been running solid since 1958 but they have yet to offer an online sportsbook in Greece.

Generally, internet gambling in Greece is not very popular. Players must rely on foreign sites to play online, but the Greek government would rather not see this happening. It’s in their interest to protect the monopoly that’s currently in existence so that they can maximize their profits.

The European Commission has noticed that Greece has been protecting this monopoly in a subtle manner. They repeatedly reject bids for a license on behalf of companies like StanleyBet who would like to break onto the market. As a result, the EC may start to enforce EU internal market rules in Greece.

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