Greece set to vote on online gambling legislation

  • Claims that legislation could be worth €1 billion to the economy over four years
  • OPAP claims that between 300 – 500 million Euros is lost to illegal operators per year

A draft bill potentially giving Greece’s coffers a boast by close to an estimated €1 billion over the next four years is set to see its day in parliament this week with a vote on new legislation related to online casinos.

greece casino industry

The draft bill outlines the legalization and regulation of online betting and gaming activities in the country after a push by Greece’s ministry of finance to find out more ways of increasing the country’s finances.

€1 billion boost

Consulting firm, Deloitte had a report accompanying the bill claiming that if the proposed legislation is implemented, it could be worth upwards of €1 billion dollars over a four-year period.

It would prove a valuable income for a country that arguably suffered more than most in the global financial crisis and could be vital for the state as it aims to clamp out illegal operators targeting the country’s players, raise employment levels and boast tourism once more.

OPAP

Currently, the Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP) holds the exclusive rights to organize and manage numerical lotteries and sports betting games in Greece as well as a host of betting shops.

OPAP reportedly pay the state €780 million a year but the organisation’s CEO Kamil Ziegler claims that between 300 – 500 euros are lost a year due to the money falling into illegal operator’s hands.

Coupled with this was the the Hellenic Gaming Commission’s report stating that there were 18,000 violations of gaming laws between 2005 and 2015 adding further fuel to the fire that new legislation is required to ensure the money goes into the state’s coffers.

Video Lottery Terminals reform

In 2012, OPAP was chosen by the government to be the exclusive provider of video lottery terminals in the country. It was authorised to roll out 35,000 terminals but has not yet done this after reportedly coming up against barriers from land-based casinos that were alleged by some to be concerned over the organisation’s monopoly and the distinct competitive advantage it would thus hold.

This is set to be addressed by parliament after it was revealed that for every €100 spent in a VLT, €52 made its way into the state’s pockets with 35,000 new machines set to heavily increase the states spending power.

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