Slippery Wheels: Greece Puts Two-Euro Limit on Online Slot Stakes

Author Thomas Wolf
August 14, 2020 3 min read

The Mediterranean nation of Greece has imposed a hard limit of €2 (~$2.37) per spin on online slots played within its borders.

The Hellenic Gaming Commission will soon have a greatly increased role in enforcing new laws and monitoring compliance.

These measures come as part of a wide-ranging package of long-awaited reforms to the country’s online gambling sector. Other new laws include:

  • A 5,000-euro ($5,895.68) limit on wins per session on RNG games
  • A ban on all advertising where it can’t be guaranteed underage demographics won’t see it, which means almost everywhere
  • A three-second wait between spins, regardless of player input
  • Self-exclusion and self-limiting systems, previously not in place in Greece.
  • Mandatory time limits at undecided levels as of yet

Exactly how the €5,000 cap on slot games wins will affect the popularity (and viability) of jackpot-based slot games in Greece remains to be seen.

Maybe progressive jackpots will be exempt? We doubt it, but it would be nice to see some “progressive” movement from Greek lawmakers on this one.

Extreme Measures

Many Greek politicians were seemingly set on banning online slots completely in the country.

That extreme piece of legislation passed two rounds of voting in Parliament last year. However, it was quietly dropped when Greece sent the Gambling bill to the EU commission for approval back in January.

No official reason was given for the change of heart, but local operators were very vocal in their opposition to any complete slot ban. They said multiple times they were willing to challenge any such move in EU courts, and it looks like they won that battle.

Across all of Europe, though, things are looking increasingly grim for those opposing more restrictions and legislation on gambling products.

The UK has been leading the way on this charge for a while now, although, other regulated markets have also been following suit.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many people turn to online gambling as physical venues shut up shop due to local lockdown restrictions across the continent.

This has led European lawmakers to impose tighter gambling restrictions in many countries, including a temporary total ban on online gambling in Latvia back in April and many more curbs on advertising in various countries.

Cooperation Agreements

It’s not just online casinos that will be feeling the effects of this new law. Affiliate marketers and developers will also need to make some changes.

Among the myriad of new marketing rules, many are aimed at preventing underage gambling. For example, all characters and content targeting younger viewers will be banned. This will include some cartoon-themed slots or characters.

However, as always, it may be difficult to see where the line lies. Expect some legal challenges ahead based on the difficulty of defining what constitutes marketing aimed at younger people.

Also, under the new plans, affiliates will need to sign what is being called a “cooperation agreement.” Monitored by the HGC, this will mean government oversight of marketing strategies and payment plans between casinos and their affiliated marketers.

This looks like a comprehensive list of changes that could see difficult decisions for operators in Greece as well as foreign developers and operators involved in the market.

License fees are set at 7 million for a four-year deal. That’s no small fee when much of the world is about to head into economic turmoil as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

What will the economic upshot of all this new regulation be? Only time will tell.

Keep checking out pages for the latest updates on this story and others of global importance to the gambling sector.

Author Thomas Wolf

Author

Thomas Wolf

384 articles

Thomas Wolf is our editor in chief. With an extensive background in online gambling (both working for casino operators and game studios) as well as an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, he's a proper authority on online casinos. When not running the day to day operations or reviewing new operators Thomas is a blackjack aficionado with some seriously big wins recorded at land-based casinos in both Las Vegas, Monaco and Macau.

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