What is the current legal status of gambling in Greece?
As of now, gambling in Greece is legal and regulated. However, the Greek gambling market has been through a series of changes and reforms over the years, which has led to a somewhat complex legal landscape. The Greek government allows both land-based and online gambling, but with specific regulations in place to govern the industry. Casinos, sports betting, and lottery games are all legally available in the country, with strict oversight from the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC).
What does the law say about sports betting in Greece?
Sports betting is legal in Greece and is a popular form of gambling among residents. The Greek Organization of Football Prognostics (OPAP) has a monopoly on sports betting, which was established through a 20-year exclusive license granted by the government in 2000. In addition to sports betting, OPAP also operates lottery games and other gambling services. Despite the monopoly, private operators can still apply for licenses to offer sports betting services, but they must meet stringent requirements and pay high licensing fees.
Is online gambling considered legal in Greece?
Yes, online gambling is considered legal in Greece. However, the market has faced several regulatory challenges, leading to a somewhat unstable environment for operators. The Greek government passed a law in 2011 that allowed for the licensing of online gambling operators, but the process has been fraught with delays and controversies. Currently, there are a limited number of licensed online operators in the country, and many international operators continue to offer their services to Greek players without a local license.
At what age can individuals legally engage in gambling activities in Greece?
The legal gambling age in Greece is 21 years old. This age requirement applies to all forms of gambling, including casinos, sports betting, and lottery games. Individuals under the age of 21 are not allowed to participate in any gambling activities, and operators are required to verify the age of their customers before allowing them to gamble.
What are some well-known casinos and popular gambling games in Greece?
There are several well-known casinos in Greece, with the most popular ones being:
- Regency Casino Mont Parnes, located near Athens
- Club Hotel Casino Loutraki, located in Loutraki
- Porto Carras Grand Resort Casino, located in Halkidiki
- Casino Rio, located in Patras
Popular gambling games in Greece include traditional casino games like roulette, blackjack, poker, and slot machines. Sports betting is also widespread, with football being the most popular sport to bet on. Lottery games operated by OPAP, such as Kino and Lotto, are also popular among Greek players.
Are gambling licenses required in Greece and how can you obtain one?
Yes, gambling licenses are required in Greece for both land-based and online operators. The Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) is responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the gambling industry. To obtain a license, operators must meet several requirements, including financial stability, technical infrastructure, and responsible gambling measures. The licensing process can be complex and time-consuming, with high fees and taxes imposed on operators.
What are the tax implications for gambling activities in Greece?
There are several tax implications for gambling activities in Greece, both for operators and players. Operators are subject to a corporate tax rate of 35%, as well as additional taxes and fees based on their gross gaming revenue. Players are also subject to taxation on their gambling winnings, with rates varying depending on the type of game and the amount won. For instance, casino winnings are taxed at a rate of 15% for amounts up to €100,000, and 20% for amounts above €100,000. Lottery winnings are taxed at a flat rate of 15%.
Where can you find more information and resources on gambling legality in Greece?
For more information on the legal status of gambling in Greece and the applicable regulations, you can consult the following resources:
- The Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) website, which provides information on licensing, regulations, and responsible gambling.
- The Greek Organization of Football Prognostics (OPAP) website, which offers details on sports betting, lottery games, and other gambling services in Greece.
- Legal and industry news websites, such as Gambling Insider and Gambling Compliance, which provide updates on the Greek gambling market and its regulations.