Online gambling has been making massive headway in Europe and around the world in the past decade. In many countries, the numbers are outstripping, or if not, at least competing with the land-based segment in multiple nations.
This reality has provided a great stream of revenue income for multiple governments around the globe, accounting for billions of dollars in the coffers.
It is no wonder that Greece is experiencing similar trends within their borders, with online gambling stealing the show in the Greek Gambling Market Statistics Report of 2019. The nation has picked the perfect time to ramp up regulation in their region and provide the perfect platform from which the online industry can grow.
Ready, Steady, Gone!
The Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), who is tasked with regulating overall digital betting in Greece, has started the processes of licensing for new online casinos and digital sportsbooks in the country.
In order to take a slice of the proverbial gambling pie in the region, operators will have to pay a licensing fee of €2 million (games of chance) or €3 million (sports betting) and meet strict requirements before they can service the Greek public.
This comes as exciting news, as Greek players will now have much-needed recourse and security when playing within the limits of their borders. Good legislative infrastructure can only bode well for the success of gambling within any country, so it’s great to see that Greece is addressing the demand for gaming in a responsible manner, which is set to benefit both public and state immeasurably.
The Stats Speak of Super Results
It was noted in the HGCs annual report that online gambling had managed to grasp the lions share of the Total Gaming Revenue (TGR) earned by the industry in 2019, dominating with a share of 53.31% and bringing in a player spend of a whopping €8.5 billion.
This represents an annual growth rate of 19.80% from the previous year, which shows healthy signs of a rapidly growing market space.
With a growing gambling economy like that, regulation is the only piece of the puzzle needed to funnel the funds in the right direction. The player base is there, so it is only expedient that the government responds with the best platform possible, to which they have obliged. This could only bode well for future growth as more and more potential gamblers find it safe to seek entertainment within the more tightly regulated environment.
While the TGR is greater than that of land-based lottery, casino, and sports betting together, the actual Gross Gaming Revenue/profits equate to 10.91% of the total income in the country at €437 million.
This is still a yearly growth rate of 19.63%, of which the government is set to capitalise a healthy 35%, in line with the new gambling revenue tax rate laid out this year. If next year’s profits are as good, Greece could see its coffers increase by €152 million in a single year.
Always a Critic
Of course, with new pioneering exploits, there is often a backlash. It hasn’t taken the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) long to criticise the endeavours of the Greeks. They believe that the harshness of the regulations may in fact drive casinos to operate illegally rather than submitting to the laws. The Associations statement read:
“Although the IBIA welcomes aspects of the regulation, most notably the general market opening and the ability of all betting operators to apply for a license and operate in Greece, the association says there is evidence from other jurisdictions that the proposed approach will, in fact, prevent many betting operators from being licensed in the market ”.
These were comments made in reply to the imposed laws on online casinos, including a maximum bet of €2 on slots with prizes of up to €5000 and a €50,000 jackpot limit.
Playing within the safe zone of regulation is sure to increase the degree of entertainment on offer in the country. With specialised focus placed on the Greek market, we can only hope that a unique and competitive environment with a flourish, pushing innovation and gaming quality through the roof.