The government in Greece has released details on proposed draft legislation regarding incipient changes to Greek gambling laws on its website. In what is becoming standard fashion, the new law would require providers of sports betting, internet poker or online casinos in Greece to set up a server in the country and to open a Greece-based domain name.
One other, more unfortunate recent trend is also reflected in the draft legislation, as in the new regulation would require Greek ISPs to block access to foreign-based gambling websites and financial institutions to not process any suspected transactions to these sites.
As for licensing, the draft legislation calls for five-year licenses to operate within Greece, but it will be up to the parliament to decide which model of licensure they will follow. Options include the French model, which provides for potentially unlimited licensing; limiting the number of potential operators by granting licenses by tender system; and a monopoly-centric model in which current gaming provider OPAP would keep its monopoly on sports betting and lottery wagering through 2019 while casino and poker providers would submit bids for limited licenses to OPAP.
In mid-September, the legislation in its final form will be sent to parliament. OPAP and the government is still targeting a May 2011 opening of online gambling in Greece, at least for online poker and sportsbooks.
The gambling market in Greece is estimated to be worth about €5 billion ($6.36 billion) in taxable revenue.