While there may not always have been buildings dedicated to the pursuit of gambling in Greece, we know that gambling as an activity has its roots in ancient Greece, with people betting on activities as diverse as cockfights, sports events, and even the outcome of wars.
With recent evolutions in the gambling sector, there has been the emergence of brick and mortar casinos and online casinos. The two casinos effectively meet the needs of punters in Greece. Over the years the gambling industry in Greece has grown. Currently Greece boats of having Balkans’ largest gambling market, recording a net profit of €16billion in 2019.
We explain the legalities of gambling online and at land-based casinos, how to choose one that’s right for you, and what type of games you can expect to find. On top of that, we provide details of where you can get help in the unfortunate event your gambling becomes a problem.
The Greece gambling market currently has eight brick and mortar casinos and a wide selection of online casinos. Greek gamblers can physically gamble in these casinos which are located on the mainland, and the various islands of Greece. Both online and offline casinos offer the Greece gambling community with a wide variety of casino games, ranging from roulettes, slots to baccarat and poker.
Greece punters are allowed to gamble online, thanks to the Gambling Act of 2011. The Acts covers the following key aspects of gambling in Greece:
Gaming: casino gaming, poker, and bingo.
Betting: sports betting, horse race betting and fantasy betting.
Social and skill arrangements.
According to the act, the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) was set to be the regulatory body governing both online and offline casinos in Greece. The regulatory bodies ensure all participants in the Greece gambling market adhere to the set regulations and meet the set standards. It also handles enforcements of all Greece gambling regulations in the industry.
Very briefly, the only gambling that is entirely legal in Greece is that carried out in a physical, land-based casino. There are 9 of these, spread around the country, but mainly on popular island destinations. This is deliberate, as the aim is to attract tourists to the resorts where the casinos are located.
In addition, players have to be 21 or older. Online casinos are theoretically only legal if the casino site is licensed with the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC). It seems this is an approach the authorities are using to curb problem gambling behavior. As this industry is such a lucrative source of revenue for the regulators, we expect to see these restrictions relaxed in the future.
Many online casinos now welcome Greek players, with most of these providing Greek translations of their websites and accepting deposits in both Euros and US Dollars. As is noted in the Terms and Conditions of these sites, the onus is on the prospective player to ascertain the legality of their use of the site. As most online casinos are not licensed with HGC, the player bears some theoretical risk. If licensed and regulated by other respectable authorities like UKGC, MGA, and Curacao, the sites themselves are unlikely to pose a risk of being unfair.
The Casino Gods has an ancient Greek theme, with many promotions for new and existing customers. Its gaming catalog has more than 1000 online casino games, which are available on instant play.
Casino Gods is a well- designed site from the stable of Genesis Global Group, assuring players that it carries registrations for fair gaming and security. It was launched in 2019. The casino offers a good choice of payment methods apart from the usual credit cards Mastercard, Visa, and Visa Electron.
PayPal, ApplePay, and online bank transfer are popular payment methods in Greece offered at Casino Gods. They also provide NeTeller, Skrill, EcoPayz, and several others.
The games range from video slots, roulette, baccarat, poker and video tabel games. Some of the top igaming providers which supply online casino games to Casino Gods are Microgaming, NetEnt and Evolution Gaming.
The default site language is English, but you can choose which language you prefer, and it translates pretty quickly. The other available languages are Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish and Japanese. Hence its suitable for the international gambling community including Greece punters.
Casino Gods is licensed with UKGC and the Malta Gaming Authority, but not with Hellenic Gambling Commission(HGC), so you take the risk if you play here.
Bizzo Casino is a new gambling platform launched in 2021 and owned by TechSolutions Group N.V. Despite being a new online casino. The platform has an extensive gaming catalog of more than 3000 online casino games. The mobile version of the casino has more than 2800 online casino games. Additionally, punters have access to more than 200 live games. Popular casino games like roulette, slots, baccarat, and blackjack are available on the platform.
Bizzo Casino comes with Greek interface and special welcome offer for players from Greece.
To ensure punters enjoy variety in gaming features and experience, the online casino has partnered with more than 60 igaming developers in the industry. Some of the popular game suppliers in the industry featured at Bizzo Casino are BetSoft, BigTime Gaming, and Evolution Gaming.
The layout and design of Bizzo Casino are simple and user-friendly. There are easy to access navigation keys and tabs which gamblers can use to access the various main sections of the websites. At the bottom of the homepage, there is important information like licensing of the casino. Many banking options are available to gamblers, ranging from popular e-wallets like Skrill bank transfers to credit and debit cards. The minimum withdrawal and deposit limit is €10.
Bizzo Casino is licensed by a gambling authority in Curacao. It currently operates in more than 30 countries.
National Casino detects where you have logged in from and renders the site in the appropriate language, so you’ll see a Greek language site if you are in Greece, This is a friendly touch we at Correct Casinos don’t see often. Apart from that, it’s easy to change the language whenever you like, wherever you are on the site.
National casino has a Greek-language version.
National Casino offers generous bonuses and regular promotions. Be sure to check the terms and conditions carefully for any restrictions, especially when it comes to withdrawals.
Live dealer games, tournaments, and a wide variety of Slots are all available for you to play.
Unfortunately, PayPal and ApplePay are not on the list of payment methods, though we wouldn’t be surprised if they appear soon. In the meantime, you’ll need to choose from Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron, Skrill, NeTeller, ecoPayz, EeZeeWallet and several others.
The site claims to be government registered and licensed, but it’s not too clear which government is meant, although they do provide a Curacao license number 00867. From this, we assume they’re not licensed with HGC, so you would assume a slight risk if you played on this site.
Vegasoo is operated and managed by Genesis Global, licensed with UKGC and MGA, but not with HGC. The online casino was launched in 2021, and is one of the new gambling platforms to join the growing global online gambling sector.
The online platform is user friendly with a wide range of online casino games. There are more than 2500 online casino games on the platform which can be accessed both on the desktop and mobile platform. Punters also have access to more than 120 live games.
Punters can enjoy the games in demo mode or register and wager for real money. The extensive gem catalog features some top igaming developers in the industry like Play’N Go,MicroGaming, NetEnt,Big Time Gaming and Evolution.
Vegasoo Casino is 100% legit online casino, favourite to many Greek players.
This is one of the online casinos that welcomes players from Greece, and provides a Greek translation of the website. Unfortunately, it is not legal for you to use such an unlicensed site, and you bear all the risk.
The casino features a wide variety of banking options for its Greece customers and international customers. Popular payment methods available at Vegasoo online casino are e-wallets, bank transfers, credit and debit cards. The minimum withdrawal and deposit limit is $10.
Another great casino that welcomes Greek players but is not licensed by HGC. It is licensed in the UK and Malta, so, if that’s good enough for you, know that you bear the risk of playing at a casino that’s not licensed in Greece.
Casigo is owned by Spectus Media Limited. Apart from offering secure payment methods for its clients, the online casino has 24/7 functional customer support. A 128-bit SSL protocol
is used to safeguard all banking transactions carried out on the platform. The online casino has clearly stated the RTP (Return to Player) of all the online casino games listed on their platform.
The Casigo online gambling platform is one of the revolutionary live casinos. The live casino features a wide variety of live games from Evolution and NetEnt. Punters can access the games on mobile devices and enjoy instant play for all the games.
Casigo has several banking methods which Greece punters can use, ranging from credit cards, e-wallets and debit cards. The deposits are instant, while withdrawal takes five business days for debit and credit cards, and two days for e-wallets.All the banking methods accepted by the online casino are very secure.
Emojino Casino is one of the new casinos in the global online gambling industry. The casino is owned by True Flip Gaming Ltd and was launched in2020. It is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. Punters using the Emojino Casino to gamble can access various promotions and bonuses, including the five-level Emojino VIP program.
Currently, the casino has more than 252 games from different top igaming developers in the industry. Some of the popular online casino games present on the platform are:
Dead or Alive,
Day and Night,
Emojino has partnered with various key igaming developers to expand its gaming catalog. Some popular igaming developers working with Emojino Casino are NetEnt, True Lab, Evolution Gaming, Push Gaming, ELK Studios, and No Limit City. Gamblers can select any casino game to play, ranging from slots, table games, and even live dealer games. Punters can play the games on desktop and mobile/ smart devices. You aren’t required to download any extra software, and the games are in instant play and demo mode.
You can easily reach the Emojino Customer via email ([email protected] ), live chat option, and phone (+44 744 195 1376). A wide variety of payment options like e-wallets, bank transfers, credit and debit cards are available. The payment processing time is fast.
Preferably with HGC (Hellenic Gaming Commission), but at least with one or more other reputable licensors. This assures you of legality and security. Any additional certifications like RNG (Random Number Generator) should be prominently displayed on the site. At the very least, the casino should be licensed with UKGA, MGA, or Curacao. You could also check for any additional badges and certifications
Read the Terms and Conditions.
Any limitations on bonus withdrawals, restricted countries, and any other restrictions should be mentioned here.
Check that the bonuses and promotions offered are attractive to you.
At the very least, you can expect a welcome bonus for signing up and additional bonuses when you make deposits.
Check that the payment methods available suit you.
Pay attention to withdrawal speeds and fees charged for different payment methods before deciding which one is best for you.
Check that the selection of games is to your liking.
Most of these casinos add new games regularly, the type of game depending on their target market.
New online casinos in Greece
New casinos are coming online all the time, many of which are eager to attract customers from all over the EU. One thing you can look out for to gauge how serious a site is about attracting Greek players is how user friendly the site is in terms of language – i.e. is it automatically presented in Greek, or do you have to search around to find out how to request your chosen language?
While there are very few online casinos that are fully licensed with HGC, there are many good casinos licensed and regulated in jurisdictions like the UK, Malta, and Curacao, that welcome players from Greece. We suspect that many of these are in the process of applying for licenses with HGC. If you choose to play at one of them, you bear a slight risk, but probably not for long.
The best new online casinos accepting players from Greece are:
Some other new gambling spots are listed in the table bellow.
Much of the information on available games is restricted in Greece; doubtless this has to do with the tight controls imposed by the authorities. Due to this, we have based our assessment of the most popular slots in Greece on information that is easily available to Greek players. Although several of these are from provider Play’nGo, there doesn’t seem to be one provider that stands out in popularity.
Using this approach, the most popular slot at the moment is Book of the Dead from Play’nGo.
We are daily adding new slots available for demo play
Other popular casino games in Greece
Given that football(soccer) is the most popular sport in Greece, and world-wide, it’s no surprise that sports betting is the most popular. This makes sense, as basketball is the second most popular sport, and there are plenty of opportunities to bet on the outcome of both games world wide.
Live casino games are also extremely popular, as they recreate the atmosphere of a real casino when the nearest one is too far away. The live games of choice are Roulette, Baccarat, and Poker.
Live Roulette is probably the easiest live casino game to learn to play, so this may have a lot to do with its popularity.
As the top casino game in the world, it would be surprising if Baccarat were not also popular in Greece, especially as there’s no discernible difference between online live Baccarat and the real thing.
Poker is only offered in 3 of the land-based casinos in Greece, so even though there may be questions around the license status of an online casino, there is no competition and the authorities are extremely unlikely to object if you play poker on one of them. Most online casinos offer several varieties of poker, including live casino poker, so there’s no shortage of entertainment available to Greek poker fans now.
Greek Sports betting sites
As much as gambling within Greece is permitted only within casinos it has not stopped some bookmakers from finding a way for the Greek to access online betting. As much as most people love to bet the Greek are not any different from them.
Betting in Greece is illegal but the one thing that is legal is Sports betting in the country. Furthermore the country has a lot of athlete talent so it is a good idea that fans would want to place a bet on their favourite games. As the national sports to watch and bet on, sports betting on soccer games and on the second most popular sport basketball, is now much in demand.
As many wagers take their bets to online sites we have taken the time to help by giving a list of online sports betting site that you can look into.
20 Bet comes to be the most popular sports betting site in Greece.
Most popular casino payment methods in Greece
There are several payment methods available to Greeks for online transactions, with a few being far more popular than the others.
PayPal is a trusted mechanism, used for many online purchases of goods and services.This is a popular digital wallet used around the world by many people. Paypal is simple to use and can be used by anyone that has an account with them. A Paypal account allows you to deposit and withdraw amounts into your main bank account.
ApplePay is equally popular, if only among those using Apple devices, and is widely used. This is a digital wallet that is common on the iOS system and users. This wallet allows its users to make purchases all across the web. Similarly this wallet can be used to fund your casino account.
Other payment methods
There are more payment and withdrawal options such as bank transfers, credit and debit cards. Credit and debit cards are the main payment methods used in Greece for online transactions.
Given the highly regulated and restrictive environment, it’s surprising that more use is not made of crypto currency yet. On the other hand, uncertainty about the legality of using crypto could explain the apparent hesitancy in its use.
They issue 2 types of licenses, after a lengthy approval process. The good news is that you can rest assured that the holder of an HGC license has also been assessed for fairness and security as part of the approval process.
The 2 types of license issued by HGC are:
a) a license to conduct Online Betting, and
b) a license to conduct other Online Games of Chance. The licenses are granted to a person rather than to a website or land-based casino and that person is accountable in the event of any misconduct. This explains why you’ll often find that a group company holds the licenses for websites it manages and operates.
Strictly speaking, Greek players should only play at casinos licensed by HGC. However, the Greek authorities seem to turn a blind eye if the casino is licensed in the UK, Malta, or Curacao. Indeed, casinos with these licenses welcome Greek players.
Greece-specific Gambling restrictions
Gambling is prohibited by local authorities, except in registered and licensed casinos.
The minimum age for gambling in Greece is 21 years old. As this is somewhat higher than the normal online casino limit of 18, prospective players should note that the onus is on them to comply with this requirement when they sign up to an online casino. This is a restriction the Greek authorities take very seriously.
Strictly speaking, gambling is only permitted at one of the 9 land-based casinos, for those age 21 and older.
Apart from that, there don’t appear to be wager limits or any other limits, with the authorities only too happy to take their taxes from both players and casino operators.
Gambling taxes in Greece
The tax system on gambling winnings changed for Greece in 2013 to align more closely with the EU taxation. There do not appear to be any differences to the individual playing on local or foreign casinos.
There are now different tax bands for gambling winnings:
Winnings below EUR100 are now tax free for the player.
You will pay 15 % on winnings of EUR100 – EUR500.
Winnings over EUR 500 attract the top rate of 20%
These relatively low rates are possible because the government takes tax on the profits made by the online casino companies and 35% on their gross gaming revenue. Apart from that, the licenses themselves are expensive – EUR3 million for sports betting and EUR 2 million for online casino and poker.
History of Gambling in Greece
Gambling has its origins way back in ancient times. There is even a legend that the gods decided who would rule over which realm – sea, sky, or underworld, by playing dice.
Whether this was a story concocted to bring respectability to gambling, or simply an explanation of the old beliefs in Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, we don’t know. There were often wagers placed on the outcome of sports games, and the outcome of a cockfight was always hotly argued.Gambling continued in this informal, unregulated way until around the 1970s.
There are now 9 land-based casinos in Greece, and many more where you can play online.
The Greek Gambling Commission was established by ministerial decree in 2011, and all Greek-based casinos are regulated by this authority.
Land based gambling in Greece
There are currently 9 registered land-based casinos in Greece. They are spread around the country and can be found in the following centers, 6 of which are on the mainland, and 3 on outlying islands.
These are mainly aimed at the tourist trade and the buildings include accommodation, restaurants and entertainment in a resort-type environment. There is no doubt this was a way to encourage foreign investment to boost the tourist industry, as the well-known ones are on outlying islands. They are all open to Greek residents aged 21 and older.
Map of all currently working Land-based casinos in Greece
Below is a list of the physical casinos which are in Greece:
Regency Casino Mont Parnes – Casino Athens
Casino Syros – Casino Hermoupolis
Club Hotel Casino Loutraki – Casino Loutraki
Casino Rio – Casino Patras
Casino Rodos – Casino Rhodes
Regency Casino Thessaloniki – Casino Thessaloniki
Casino Xanthi – (Currently Closed)
These are all under the control of a monopoly known as OPAP, as are Greek-based online casinos. OPAP does not comply with EU regulations, so it’s possible that the monopoly will be scrapped soon.
There are, however, many other online casinos where Greek citizens can play. They offer websites in both Greek and English, and accept bets in both US dollars and Euros.
Greek Gambling addictions help
The first step in correcting any problem behavior is recognizing that it is a problem. If you ever borrow money so you can continue gambling, that should be a very loud warning that you have a problem. In the same way, if your gambling affects your ability to pay your normal expenses, something’s not right.
Neglecting to spend time with your friends and family may also be a sign that all is not well.
If you do have a problem, there are several resources available to help you.
Many good online casinos will assist you to manage your gambling so that you don’t develop a problem. They do this in various ways, like allowing you to set limits for daily, weekly, and monthly deposits. There are also often settings to control the amount of time you spend on the site. Then, if you need to take more drastic action, there’s always self-exclusion, preventing your access to the site for a while.
Did you know?
The monopoly OPAP, which controls gambling activities and generates huge tax revenue for the Greek government, is expected to reach EUR1 Billion revenue in 2023.
The monopoly, which controls lotteries, scratch games, horse racing and sports betting, is actively trying to recruit more female players. They’re not giving away how they plan to do this but it’s not a big change in behavior to move from including a lottery ticket with the weekly groceries to budgeting a little for online slots entertainment, particularly now that most of these games are available to play on mobile devices.
The total number of video lottery machines has been permanently capped at 25,000.
Yes, the players are liable to pay tax on a sliding scale according to the size of their winnings.
Roulette, Baccarat, and Poker are most popular with Greek players.
The biggest win to date was in 2010 in the state lottery LOTTO and amounted to EUR7,5million.
The main lottery is the state lottery LOTTO. There are 2 draws a week(Wednesday and Saturday), tickets cost only EUR0.50, and the minimum jackpot is EUR300,000
Live Roulette is by far the most popular casino game, perhaps as it’s so easy to learn how to play.
Despite what seems to be a severely restricted environment for Greek gamblers, there are now many more options available and new online casinos welcoming Greek players on a regular basis.
Providing you exercise care in selecting your online casino, check the terms and conditions carefully, and manage your playing budget wisely, you should have loads of entertainment ahead of you, especially if you take advantage of the many free games available. Should you ever become concerned about your gambling, there are plenty of free and anonymous resources to help you, but it’s far better to avoid problems in the first place by setting yourself spending limits and sticking to them. Developing these responsible habits early on will save you heartache and give you years of fun.
If you still have not decided where to play, bellow you can find a quick comparison of the 3 most popular casinos in Greece