Greek Government Delays Online Wagering Legislation

Published Sunday, April 10, 2011 -

The Reuters news agency reported recently that the government has been forced to do another revision of its latest proposals regarding the liberalization of Greek online gambling legislation after ruling party politicians protested that the legislation as it is written could turn the financially stricken nation into a ‘vast casino’.

The country can certainly use revenues that would flow from gambling licensing fees and taxation. New plans to amend proposed gambling legislation comes but a month after the original proposal was put forward.
The liberalized new rules was set to deliver the country as much as 700 million Euros in earned income as part of the European Union, International Monetary Fund bailout from the severe financial recession that Greece is experiencing. 
Leaders of the ruling Socialist Party, raised doubts about the bill, suggesting that the new legislation was too liberal and that there would be real risk of abuse from both players and operators, things the government is anticipating but does not seem prepared to deal with. 

PASOK MP Dimitris Papoutsis said that he was adamant that the country should proceed with caution and “not go towards full deregulation of gaming and gambling".
Finance Minister, George Papaconstantinou, revealed that he would be retracting the law for further consideration.
Currently there is a monopoly controlling the gambling industry in Greece known as OPAP which will if new rules are adopted share the Greek market with other European Union member businesses. The new rules will also have to comply with European Commission laws regarding free e commerce among member nations. While all internet gambling is forbidden in Greece, the unlawful gambling market has an estimated value of $5.3 billion (€4 billion). Greece has already received large financial penalties for permitting OPAP to be the nation’s sole provider of low stake slot games.


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