The European Commission rejected the current version of Greek gambling laws, sending back the Greek framework for further redacting.
The postponement of the approval of the Greek framework to regulate lotteries as well as traditional and internet gambling in Greece was due to multiple objections by Malta and a lukewarm reception by the rest of the commission.
The European Commission spokesperson stated that “it’s clear that certain aspects of the draft Greek law do not respect certain EU provisions particularly those relating to the freedom of establishment and the unhindered provision of services in the EU.”
Even though the EU Commission did not exhibit much enthusiasm after going over the submitted Greek gambling framework, Malta has been the only EU member state to explicitly make an objection.
“We have now decided to give Greece until August 8 to come up with its replies. If we are not satisfied we might even start infringement procedures against the country,” the EU Commission spokesperson added.
The spokesperson refused to elaborate on the specific objections. However based on a cursory examination of the submitted draft, they are not difficult to point out.
The main point of contention within the Greek gambling laws is the requirement for all foreign gambling businesses to incorporate in Greece and obtain a financial guarantee from a Greek bank.
The gambling law also limits the total number of gambling licenses for foreign owned traditional and online gambling sites in Greece.
There are also a number of other issues within the Greek gambling laws which are not palatable to the EU Commission including unreasonable minimal capital requirements, the hosting of all gambling websites within Greece, the processing of all financial transactions using Greek banks and the requirement for all online gamers to obtain a special Greek gambling identification card.
Malta, the home of hundreds of online gambling enterprises has in recent years been the voice of liberalization “to make sure the EU’s gambling market remains as open as possible.” The postponement of the approval of Greek gambling laws has met with warm approval by the European gaming industry.