Parnes Casino is a brick and mortar gambling center located not far from Athens, Greece. The casino recently became concerned about competition from online casinos in Greece, and decided to take action by going straight to the source.
The target was an online gambling site called Casino848, which has been running a massive billboard advertising campaign across Greece for the past two years. Parnes Casino felt that the billboard adverts, which encouraged players to visit their online competition, were directly responsible for lost revenue. Because Casino848 is not legally licensed to offer internet gambling in Greece, Parnes Casino’s complaint was heard and action was taken.
Casino848’s advertising partner, Master Media, has since been ordered to remove all billboards advertising the online casino, and has been denied future rights to promote the gambling site. The state also fined Master Media €3,000 for every violation.
Greek gambling laws are currently in flux, so situations like this are bound to arise. Current legislation intends to place severe restrictions on offshore gambling sites that target Greek players, forcing ISPs to block websites and requiring banks to refrain from processing transfers to and from unlicensed gambling groups. A licensing scheme will be created eventually, but the particulars of the system have not yet been worked out. The current target for the opening of online poker and sports betting in Greece is May 2011.