In Greece, betting on sporting events is a popular way to make a game more interesting. While Greece has legalized sports betting, there are no options currently for Greek bettors looking to make bets online. No Greece betting sites operate within the country. There are some foreign betting sites that accept Greek bettors, though the government in Greece attempts to block these sites. Therefore, finding the best Greece betting sites can be a difficult process.
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Greece Online Betting Information
Since there are no Greece betting sites operating out of the country, Greek bettors must turn to foreign betting sites to make online wagers. Some foreign sites welcome Greek bettors and even offer Greek language versions of their site. When signing up for a Greece betting site, bettors must provide banking information in order to make a deposit. Most Greek bettors use alternative deposit methods in order to get around the blocks put into place by Greek banks. In Greece, the Euro is the official currency and many of the best Greece betting sites offer wagers in Euros.
In Greece, sports betting is legal at authorized sports books, but there are no options for online betting. The Greek government goes as far as to block access to foreign betting sites and put a ban on all types of online gambling. However, many bettors find ways to get around this block and enjoy wagering at the best Greece betting sites.
Attributes Of The Best Greece Betting Sites
When picking between Greece betting sites, there are a few key factors to look out for. The best Greece betting sites are at the top of their game because they offer bettors a safe betting environment with several security measures taken to ensure player information does not end up in the wrong hands. A good Greece betting site has Greek language options available as well as deposit methods that are not blocked by the government in Greece. One way in which Greece betting sites stand out from one another is through the use of bonus offers and promotions. The highest bonuses with the fewest restrictions are offered at the top Greek betting sites.
Bettors from Greece have many obstacles standing in their way when it comes to accessing online betting sites. However, some foreign betting sites accept Greek bettors and have Greece deposit methods that help bettors get around the blocks. Other ways to tell if a Greece betting site is of high value is through the security, customer support, bonuses and promotions offered from the sportsbook.
Online sports betting, horse racing betting, casino gambling and poker are all legal in Greece. Operators are supposed to have a license to offer their services to Greeks, but citizens are under no legal obligation to only play at licensed betting sites. However, internet service providers do maintain a blacklist of unauthorized gaming websites to which online access is blocked.
The legal landscape has seen more than its fair share of turmoil in recent years, but things are starting to look better moving forward. The government has finally issued its first online betting license to someone other than OPAP and says it has plans to issue more licenses in the near future. MyBet.com became licensed in February of 2016 and Greek officials have announced their intention to issue more licenses this year.
The current state of affairs came about as a result of legislation passed in 2011. The bill authorized most forms of online gaming and set up a system by which foreign operators could apply for licenses to serve the Greek market. Several online gaming licenses were issued that year, but then the government suddenly rescinded those licenses on questionable grounds. Most believe the reversal on those licenses was nothing more than an attempt to boost the struggling state-owned OPAP.
One other serious problem within the bill was a punitive 30% tax assessed on all foreign operators – a tax to which OPAP was exempted. This resulted in the European Commission stepping in and ordering Greek officials to rewrite the laws. Taxing everyone except the government-owned gaming website amounted to nothing more than the state protecting its monopoly over online betting.
Additionally, the bill assessed a 10% tax on all winnings paid out to players. The worst part of all was that both taxes could be applied retroactively to as far back as 2010. These onerous taxes made it all but impossible for foreign operators to compete with the state monopoly. Operators filed suit in European courts and eventually won judgments against Greek authorities.
What’s funny is the 2011 bill isn’t even the worst example of inept lawmaking. Back in 2002, all forms of public “electronic gaming” were made illegal. The bill was so poorly worded that it resulted in internet cafes having to stop offering games as innocuous as chess and checkers. Even Greek lawmakers eventually realized the error of their ways and overturned that bill.
Jumping back to modern times, pressure from the EU has pushed Greek lawmakers to reevaluate their approach to online gaming. One license has been issued as of the time of this writing and more licenses are said to be coming soon. After years of legal wrangling between Greece, the EU and frustrated operators, it looks like the country is finally ready to open its doors to competition.
Horse Racing Betting in Greece
The OPAP Group retains its monopoly over online horse racing betting until 2020 through one of its subsidiaries, Horse Racing SA. In 2015, the company was granted an exclusive 5-year license to offer online parimutuel horse racing betting in Greece.
In addition to wagering, Horse Races SA is also responsible for organizing and conducting horse races, overseeing parimutuel betting on those races and “carrying out activities relevant to horse racing betting at the national and international level.” Horse Racing SA is the only organization in Greece that offers true, parimutuel style horse racing betting.