There are seven casinos licensed to operate on the Greek mainland, and about ten others operating on Greek islands, particularly Corfu and Rhodes. There are only two casinos in Athens. Generally speaking, casinos in Greece are resort-based and primarily aimed at tourists that visit the country, especially during the summer months.
Traditionally, most Greek casinos have been government-owned and have provided only tables as gaming machines have been prohibited. In recent years, however, the Government legalised slot machines and allocated a number of private casino licenses.
For all casinos as a group, there are approximately 500 tables and 4,500 slot machines, with about 40% of GGRs generated by tables and about 60% generated by slot machines. In Greece, table and slot GGRs are combined and then taxed according to a progressive scale ranging from 20% to 33%. In addition, casinos pay 2% of GGRs to the local authority and a flat fee to the state tourism organisation.
Greek Casino Regulations:
- Entry Fee >>> 2,000 to 5,000 drachmas (€7 to €17)
- Hours of operation >>> 12 to 24 hours a day
- Facility parameters >>> allowed bars, restaurants & theatres
- Credit >>> Prohibited
- Advertising >>> Permitted
- Entertainment >>> Permitted
- Certification of staff >>> Required
- Tipping staff >>> Permitted
- Age limits >>> employees must be 18 or older
- Alcohol >>> Permitted
- Foreign ownership >>> Permitted
- Location restrictions >>> only tourist areas specified by law. At least 50km(31miles) outside of Athens
- Patron restrictions >>> may be excluded at casino’s discretion
Source: Adapted from the GBGC Report
Machine Gambling Outside Casinos
In 2002 the Greek Government prohibited gambling machines outside of casinos. The decision to outlaw the devices, which were present in a growing number of shops, hotels, cafes and restaurants, was made because the Greek Government felt that the illegal gambling was getting out of control. Greece’s ban explicitly outlawed all gambling on slot machines, GameBoys, mobile ‘phones, and computer games.
The Greek Organisation for Horseracing exclusively operates the betting totalisator system in Greece. Fixed odds sports betting was launched in 2000 and is organised by the Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP) in collaboration with Intralot. Its sales during 2002 presented an increase of 15% in comparison to the previous year. The turnover of the OPAP in 2002 reached €1.5 billion. In 2003 OPAP’s total turnover on fixed odds sports betting was over €1.648 billion, making it the largest sports book in the world, with most turnover derived from betting on football events. During the competition of World Cup the turnover exceeded €100m. During the first quarter of 2003 Greece’ s fixed odds betting turnover reached €465,4 m, which represented an increase of 33% on the same period during the previous year.
The Greek Organization of Football Prognostics has a network of 7.700 on line terminals provided by INTRACOM. The number of outlets which currently operate across the country is approximately 5.200.