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   Wednesday, August 23 2017 
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Growth of the country’s gambling industry after 5 years of decline - Greece

While Greece is struggling to recover its economy’s health, that of games of chance and gambling, including poker, has currently shown encouraging signs of improvement, Greece’s gaming regulatory commission Ε.Ε.Ε.Π reported. The Ε.Ε.Ε.Π’s latest report highlighted a promising rise of 9% in 2014. This is actually the first ever increase in revenue that the Greek gaming industry has experienced for 5 years now. However, this figure only represents half of what was garnered in 2009, that is, € 8.7 billion against € 5.9 billion. Players’ bets also rose by 7.2% to € 187 against € 172 in 2013. The commission estimated that nearly € 525 million were added to the State’s coffer in 2014.



It is a fact that related revenue reports in almost all EU countries regarding poker activities, namely cash game and poker tournaments, saw a significant downswing. Despite all this, the gambling industry in Greece now benefits from a considerable upward trend by sports betting sector. Greece’s Organization of Football Prognostics (OPAP) remains the only organization being allowed to legally operate lotteries and sports betting in the country so far. OPAP has generated 64% of Greece’s overall gambling revenues in 2014, about € 3.8 billion. With the far-from-being-rosy situation that Greece now lives in, an initiative to regulate online gambling would be a great option to cope with revenue shortage. According to the Greece’s Minister of Finance, “Yanis Varoufakis”, an eventual regulation of online gambling would provide an additional revenue of € 500 million annually to the state’s coffer. 24 international gaming operators currently hold temporary i-gaming licenses in the country.

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