Greek (HGC) Licensed Casinos
Best Greek Online Casinos with aGreek Gambling License
Introduction to Greek Gaming Commission Casinos
One of the most beloved fun games in ancient Greece was said to be heads or tails, and somehow this was the beginning of gambling in the region.
Even though the outcome was based on pure luck, it was believed that God controlled the games, and this theory still runs deep in its roots.
Today, Greece is the subject of several casinos, online gambling sites, and many such avenues of real money betting.
In this article, we look at the regulation of gambling in recent times, and various casinos available in the region.
Officially known as the Hellenic Republic, Greece is a country in South-Eastern Europe and has thousands of islands to mark its territory. They spread out through the Aegean Sea and Ionian seas. It is often remarked as the cradle of ancient civilizations; today falls in Europe and uses Euro as its currency.
The official language is Greek and Athens, the capital, is the proud hub for industrial and infrastructure growth. It lies at the important junction of Europe, Asia, and Africa. This makes it an ideal country to set up gambling establishments and offshore sites.
History of Gambling in Greece
It should go on record that a commission or state enterprise in Greece called the OPAP had a monopoly on all online lottery services till 2020 and on all online casino services and associated businesses until 2030. Greece or the Hellenic Republic has been home to gambling since ancient times. As of the time, the legislation and due date for the same in the sphere of licensing of gambling activities, are significantly changing.
This includes online casinos as well. Because of this, the Greek Gaming Commission that is formed to take care of this comes into action. As of current records, gambling is legal in Greece, in a single sentence, and there are around 9 casinos in the country today. These land-based avenues are great for sure, but there are also online companies that are slowly making it a growing hub. As of 2022, 24 licensed online gambling service providers operate from its territory.
As we know the history of gambling in Greece or Greeks dates back to ancient times. It has helped major its economy, boost its infrastructure, and developed into a significant unit of global trade. Currently, the land-based casinos are aimed at tourists and are found at big hotels and resorts only. And, web-based internet gambling in Greece and regulations are just starting to become popular.
The contemporary Greece we know today has created great facilities for tourism, casino, and gambling-related activities, and regulates the market with competent authorities. For example, as per Greek law, gambling is legal inside casinos only. And, all types of gambling outside its premises are prohibited by law and criminal offenses.
Greek Organization for Football Prognostics
As we spoke about OPAP, which stands for Greek Organisation for Football Prognostics S.A, it has a great monopoly in the region. The country has set different rules and regimes concerning the lotteries and sports betting avenues. So far, the exclusive rights to separate lotteries and sports betting games are held only by this single organization. One must know now that OPAP was created way back in 1958, which is the farthest in contemporary Greece when Greece’s gambling commission, regulations, and laws were enforced for the general public.
It became a public trading entity only in 2001 and has a big chunk of its economy under business. Before this, it was completely owned by the state government, and it was fully privatized only in 2013. This happened when the remaining 33% stake of the state government was also auctioned to the Emma Delta or Emma Capital, an investment company. Because of this, the Greece gaming commission became what it is today.
It is to be noted that OPAP has currently linked and signed a contract with the Greek government that lasts till 2030, as we mentioned above. Thus, it makes the regime of lottery and sports betting completely monopolized in the country.
Gambling Laws & Regulations
The laws and legislation relating to Greece’s gaming commission involved setting up a legal body to take care of all things and monitor the various gambling establishments in the country, including land-based and online casino companies. To date, the very aspect of local gambling is subject to Law 4002/2011, and this is what governs any forms of betting. This is where laws and provisions are set forth and under these conditions, all services must comply with the local laws.
Only then, they are allowed to operate in Greece. All service providers fall under this single body. And, according to this law, the supervision, monitoring, and control of the country’s all territories, territorial islands, and waters, will be carried out by the specially created governing body called the Hellenic Gaming Commission. This is the single Greece gaming commission that is supposed to take over from OPAP after its monopoly is over. The HGC or Hellenic Gaming Commission comprises nine members elected directly by the Ministry of Finance, Greece.
This gambling law enshrined in the Gambling Act of 2011 allowed for first-time foreign investments in the country. Greece welcomes many companies to set their businesses here and the act was adopted. But even today there are not many companies using this regulatory benefit. Many companies are not willing to open venues in the region because of the lack of any clear procedure with regards to obtaining a gambling license, applying for the same, and so on.
Therefore, the Special HGC was established. If you go to their website, you can directly find a link to apply for an online license. Also, the Greek government has discouraged further investments by putting forth a 30% tax on outlandish operators in the territory.
Greece is a slowly growing nation for online casinos
So much so that the additional tax became a big factor in 2013 when many foreign companies started to lose interest in the nation. In 2013, the European Union decided against Greece, and this made a significant change in its policies further. So, the land-based casino also has to obtain licenses from the gambling authority, Hellenic Gaming Commission. This is the Greece Gaming Commission and it delivers land-based casino licenses as per Law 2206/1994.
This is simple legislation and bears definitive legal translation. As per this, there is no legal definition and mention of gambling, and as mentioned above outside the casino, such practices are not permissible. In 2002, even a law was passed that made it a criminal offense to do so.
As per Law 3037/2002, the country’s government officially bans any form of betting, electrical or electro-mechanical devices, and electronic games that account for gambling and betting, winning cash, in the public. This also extends to private properties, and places in the territory of Greece. Because of such strict rules, gambling is very much regulated in the country.
Not only that, these regulations made by the Greece Gaming Commission have helped authorities to take measures, and are considered a part of its efforts to curb compulsive gambling, and addiction. The negative effects of gambling, especially on children and people make them prone to developing bad effects.
Greece Gambling Regulatory Body
When speaking of the gambling authority, the single commission that regulates all the activities delivers licenses and more, HGC or Hellenic Gaming Commission is also called Greece Gaming Commission. Because of its establishment, it has now become the sole authority in the area offering four major services.
- Gambling regulation.
- Granting licenses and certifications.
- Audit of gambling activities.
- Protection of player rights.
To achieve those goals, the body is always actively participating in major areas. You can find useful information on casinos, online license applications, market statistics, blacklisted companies, and anti-money laundering. HGC is the single and sole administrative authority and it offers information on the role, scope, work, structure, and organization of the Commission. Because of these things, you will primarily find useful information on gaming activities that are legal in the country, and the entities that conduct legal trade in Greek territory. The framework of regulations and appropriate gaming rules, compliance with the same, the rules governing responsible gaming, and issues relating to the protection of minors.
International Association of Gambling Regulators IAGR
You can learn more about it from the official website that is endorsed by the International Association of Gambling Regulators IAGR, data.gov.gr, GREF or Gambling Regulators European Forum, and many such government bodies. The official webpage of this commission is available from 17 Acharnon Street and Mavrokordatou Square, GR 104 38, Athens. So, it makes it more authentic than ever as you can even call them on a toll-free number or send an email for inquiries. You can read elaborately about their auditing services and also responsible gaming policies. Under their supervision services, HGC performs several key functions.
- It performs gaming market regulation in the country.
- Gambling certification is a part of it.
- Licensing and certification of electronic amusement games.
- Certification for technicians that work on them, repair, and maintain them.
- Audits for compliance with their policies and rules.
- Lists and registrars of various bodies.
- Anti-money laundering activities, measures, and policies.
All games that are monitored under the audit system of the Greece Gaming Commission undergo strict checking. As per games of chance that result in partial luck and financial gain, these are defined clearly for readers. And, they are governed by probability law which states that luck plays a decisive role in this and randomness should be introduced here with Random Number Generators or RNG. Or, it must be carried out by lottery physically. This extends to all games of chance like blackjack, cards, lotteries, number games, betting, casino games, roulette wheel, and so on.
License Provisions for Gambling
Those games are played with an electronic machine, and those online games too on them, require a license to be used legally. As per Article 27 part 1 and more, mechanical and recreational devices also need licenses to be used for gambling. The licensing process for online gambling websites and services comes under Online Gaming License and is open to everyone.
This is also applicable to content providers in the realm of Type A1 and Type A2, bearing “Manufacturers Suitability Licence” which allows players and the public to be safe. Depending on whether they offer management services or are gambling operators and casino operators, the final proceedings may differ. For example, in addition to the above, a company might have to apply for a “Suppliers Suitability Licence”.
There is also another type of license called Affiliate Suitability Licence which delivers a lot to customers. It must be registered under HGC’s online Register of Affiliates. Thus, the above provisions allow a new gambling company to set up and start its business, and as for online casino brands, there is less hassle because they do not have electronic or mechanical devices.
Similarly, the land-based game of chance or casinos bears Article 43 of Law 4002/2011 and it states that any professionals that supply the providers of gambling with the relevant mechanical devices, must obtain a license as well. Because these Relevant Products need relevant licensing, it is further divided into the following categories. This is described in Articles 42 and 43.
Different types of Certifications
First, certification A for up to 30 slot machines, and must be installed exclusively in gaming facilities. Second, Certification B is for companies with up to 50 slot machines and is also exclusive to casinos and game parlors only. Third, Certification C is for a mixed group of slot machines not exclusive to gaming zones. Then, the fourth category is Certification D which covers the installation/maintenance of these services and products and also applies to cruisers and sea vessels.
Certification E is for the installation of these slots on Greece-flagged sea vessels and those on international voyages only. Finally, Certification F is for those who wish to install up to 15 slot machines in various Greek agencies. One must also remember that the story doesn’t end here. Besides these provisions, casino licenses are also divided into various categories.
As of now, casino licenses are divided into two broad types. One is a simple license and the other is a wider casino license. Because of such vague specifications, many companies also choose not to establish here with the higher tax rates. Depending on the type of infrastructure available, Article 359 of Law 4512/2018, one of the latest amendments read that simple casino licenses are those that include almost all casinos in the country. These are called “Simple the casino license”. Then, there is the other type, which covers a wider range.
These simple types include casinos and gaming areas and also accommodations and establishments like hotels and resorts that feature at least 3 or 5-star facilities. The “wider range casino licenses” are as the name suggests, and combine gaming facilities, accommodation facilities, five-star hotels and resorts, shops, and much more. Because of this, they are installed in special spots like tourist places and healing centers.
Player Protection, Amendments
The HGC Greece Gaming Commission makes things easier for players and the public. The commission is strict in Greek territory and has an innovative eASSOS platform. It comes with a range of tools, and applications, which HGC is designed for. It is also developed to inform and create awareness and to keep gamblers safe using self-protection skills. Such platforms keep things safe for players, from fair trading and gaming policies to using RNG.
Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing in the gambling market is a major concern too, and to keep the public safe, the Hellenic Gaming Commission is competent in safeguarding social interest, public revenues, legitimacy of gambling provinces, and various stages of operation and licensing. Because of this, it makes more sense to do things better.
As per Law 4557/2018, the Government Gazette, HGC is the competent authority in monitoring provisions, as per casinos, casinos on board cruises, enterprises and businesses, and many other land-based factors too.
Obtaining Greece Gambling Licence
To obtain a gambling license, through slot machines, it is necessary to submit a filled application to HGC or Greece Gaming Commission. This includes applicants’ data, the number of certified gaming machines, and others by the HGC laws. As per the Hellenic gaming Commission’s decision on B3225, 11/18/2014, the establishment’s control of the technical and characteristics of slot machines goes under their authority.
Similarly, individuals and businesses opting for gambling licenses should fulfill the basic criteria. This is that they should not be convicted of any crimes and should not have any cases for theft, fraud, stolen property, forgery of documents, corruption, and more. Also, natural persons should not be convicted of any serious crimes and committed a crime in the field of gambling. Also, this does not end here because after getting the license, the company must also notify Greece Gaming Commission or HGC without any delay of the information of various kinds.
- Availability of slot machines on their premises.
- Presence of qualified instructors and technicians.
- Access to qualified games for the machines.
- Confirmation of legal rights by the operator to use the property.
- And legal permit to move slot machines for storage, repair, etc.
Certified Online Casinos in Greece
The Greece Gaming Casino License confirms many certified online casinos which offer great attractions both online and offline, land-based. Among them you will find the following:
Betsson Casino comes from BML Group Limited, and it has several licenses in different countries. For instance, in Greece, the casino regulates under the terms of the Greek License, in the UK the casino has and UKGC license, and so on. The first thing that will appear on the landing page is the welcome package where players can get a 100% match bonus of up to €1000 and 200 free spins. The minimum deposit for this bonus is €10, while the maximum is Maximum bonus amount is €1,000. The bonus also comes with wagering 35x.
As its name suggests N1 Casino comes from the famous N1 Interactive Limited Casino Group. It offers a lot of promotions and bonuses, especially for new players. Right after the registration players can enjoy a 100% bonus of up to €100 and 150 free spins. Besides being the best one on this list, this casino has a Greek License for Greece, but an MGA license for other countries as well. Unlike other casinos, this one offers everything translated into different languages, and also it has great customer support.
Although this casino has a humble game section, it has a lot to offer. As soon as you open the site, the first thing you’ll notice is a generous welcome package of up to 100% where players can receive a €200 bonus and prizes. You can make a deposit of €10 min before the registration so you can get the option to play with 50 free spins.
Another casino that aims at the Greek market is Vistabet Casino which also has a Greek License. The casino is medium-sized but you will find big wins options for sure. The deposit bonus is 100% up to €300 coupled with a wagering requirement of x35. Another key point that we should mention is that the casino has a spin-winning limit of up to €70,000 per spin.
This Casino comes from Elektra Works Casino Group and welcomes its players with a welcome bonus of up to 100% of 300 free spins and €100 in free bets and bonuses. The casino has an excellent interface, a mobile app, and a lot of currencies. However, the free spins are available only with the following games: Book of Horus, Book of Myths, and the Book of Dead. The minimum deposit, so you can play at Bwin Casino, is €10, while the maximum is €200.
Although we are not fans of this casino it still ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to online playing and gaming. The casino doesn’t offer any bonuses and promotions at the moment of writing, but we hope that this will change in the future. The selection of games is excellent and you can also find a lot of jackpot games.
According to our casino analysis, Fonbet Casino is a medium-sized casino that doesn’t really walk as it talks. However, we still consider that there is room for improvement and that the players will be able to win big prizes in the future. We’ve seen worse and we can’t place this casino in the same group.
For instance, FonBet Casino besides offering security and safety also welcomes the players with a 100% up to €300 1st Deposit Bonus. The minimum deposit is at least €10 and you can also use the code FON100. Furthermore, there is a 25X wagering requirement and no cashout.
The new players will be more than happy with NoviBet because this casino offers a 100% Welcome Offer of up to €800! The minimum deposit is €10 and the wagering requirement is 25x. Besides the exhaustive game selection of 2000+ games, you’ll find a lot of additional bonuses and promotions, progressive jackpots, video slots, and such. Our thorough analysis is excellent and this casino is definitely our cup of tea.
If you are looking for a casino that is focused more on sports betting, this is the right fit. However, BetShop Casino offers an extensive game library just like any other casino listed here and it also has a Greek License. At the moment of writing we couldn’t find any bonuses or promotions on the casino site, but as you can see at the bottom of the page BetShop Casino won an award for Best Football Odds. There’s not much to tell about this casino, but we recommend it for all the sports betting that it has to offer.
Greece is an ancient land of gambling with several companies involved in this today. Many companies are interested but because of 33% and higher taxes, it is a big deal. The Greece Gaming Commission or Hellenic makes up for all rules, regulations, and authority.
Greek Gaming Commission Casinos FAQ
Yes, gambling is only legal at online casinos in Greece. Outside of casinos, it is a criminal offence to gamble. This also includes gambling in private properties.
The cost of a gambling licence in Greece varies depending on the type of licence required. For example, a licence for online gambling activities could cost as much as 3,000,000 EUR. The length of the licence also varies, but is typically issued for a period of 5 years.
The maximum tax rate that gambling companies will be required to pay is 1,000,000 EUR. This amount goes directly to the Ministry of Finance and HGC.