Greece Hoping For $1.3 Billion Online Gambling Bonanza Following 2011 LegalisationDecember 28, 2010 11:30 am
Greece’s economy suffered a huge shock early on in 2010 after years of unrestrained spending and lending, as well as a lack of financial reforms saw the country’s national debt rocket to €300 billion ($413.6 billion).
However, impressive reforms implemented over the past six months in the country are expected to return Greece’s ailing economy back to growth in 2011. The government is also hoping that an overhaul in their online gambling laws will add extra impetus to the whole process.
Currently, all online gambling is banned in Greece, with the illegal online gaming market worth around €4 billion a year.
However, Greece will be hoping to soon tap into this huge, lucrative market, with Greek lawmakers announcing that they expect online gambling regulations to be introduced in early 2011.
Greece is presently having to repay the €110 billion bailout organised by the EU and the IMF and is anticipating that the changes to their online gambling law will increase government revenue by around €1 billion ($1.3 billion) over the next two to three years.
The Greek government’s plan to allow online gambling will also have the added benefit of bringing the country in line with EU agreements. Outside of online gambling, Greece has faced hefty fines in the past for violating EU monopoly laws by allowing Greek company OPAP to be the only operator of low stakes slot machines in the country.
That too could be about to change as the the government now plans to lift the ban on such slot machines, which has been in place since 2002.
When the innovations to Greece’s gaming industry get the go-ahead in 2011, a Gambling Supervision Commission will then be set-up, which will be tasked with keeping a close eye on the industry.