Just like many countries that are members of the European Union, Greece has also started the regulation process of the online betting industry. The new set of laws came a few years ago and the government is now issuing licenses and regulating the whole field.
Numerous global gaming companies have already obtained this license and operate on Greek soil. We can talk about major names like SOFTSWISS as well as ESA Gaming, BGaming, and Play’n GO.
New Regulations, New Problems
Considering that the legislation is harmonized with other EU continues, Greece is also facing problems with illegal gambling.
Simply, the regulations are pretty tight and strict, with leads to certain limitations. For example, maximum stakes are €2, while maximum prizes are €5,000. Also, there is a minimum three-second spin limit.
Finally, slots can not be advertised anywhere outside of an operator’s own website.
All these limitations make licensed operators less competitive compared to online casinos abroad which, although illegal, are still pretty popular among Greek players.
Simply, players are seeking the best possible gambling experience and they usually find it on abroad websites.
The Defending Strategy
So, the Greek government came up with an interesting idea to reduce and eventually stop illegal gambling.
The strategy to defend legal operators and the overall market came in the form of a website. The Hellenic Gambling Commission announced the launch of a new online portal last month.
Sources from Foxbonus states that the website is called “Whistler” and, as the name suggests, it is designed in a way that people can report illegal operators.
It is designed in the form of a portal, where anyone can report illegal betting websites, unlicensed affiliates, illegal revenue, or revenue that the individual suspects may derive from illegal gambling operations.
Furthermore, users can also upload evidence of illegal actions, in the forms of documents, photos etc.
Will More Countries Follow Greece’s Approach To Illegal Gambling?
Considering that this is still a pretty fresh thing, it’s still early to talk about the effects. Still, we can speculate about the implementation of this approach in other countries that have problems with illegal gambling.
This particularly refers to the EU countries, which have similar regulations that also keep local operators inferior compared to off-shore casinos.
For example, Germany has the same problem, as well as the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands etc. We are pretty sure that their governments will also use this approach to address the problem, along with other methods.
Still, there is one thing that bothers us and it’s about the efficiency of the new website that’s launched in Greece.
Namely, we are pretty sure that this portal will remain more or less restricted to the gambling community, to the people that play online casino games.
So, we wonder if they are actually willing to report websites that offer better service and better playing experience.
Between defending the fiscal system of their country and defending their personal interest in getting the best possible experience, we are not sure if they will pick the former.
We can discuss ethical matters all day long, but when it comes to personal interests, things turn out to be a little bit different. In the end, time will tell about the efficiency of this website.
EU Isn’t Unified Around Online Gaming
Online casino legislation is a global trend and many European countries are leaders in this field. However, there are also numerous European countries that have a negative attitude on this matter.
This particularly refers to countries from the former Eastern Block, such as Poland, which became very conservative in the last few years, and forbids pretty much all forms of online gambling.
Of course, illegal online gambling is present in these countries and launching a website like Whistler could be a useful tool in fighting against illegal gambling.
The same thing is with countries like France, which has a pretty unique view on online gambling. According to the regulations, forms of betting like slot machines are banned while, on the other hand, poker is allowed.
The explanation is that while slot machines are clearly games of luck, poker is a game where the outcome largely depends on the player’s skills and knowledge.
What About The Rest Of The World?
Illegal gambling is present in other parts of the world as well. So, we are pretty sure that many governments will use Greece’s approach as well.
This particularly refers to developing countries, which don’t have enough resources to pursue illegal players and operators, where this kind of help from the citizens is more than welcome.